Home > About Me > Why I’m a bad writer

Why I’m a bad writer

…because I use words pretentious words like “anathema”, or pointless phrases like “To be succinct…”

To be succinct, if you say that you’re being succinct then you are not actually doing so.   Why bother with the preamble at all?   I’m honestly not sure, my words just “feel” naked without one.   If I don’t preface my statements with the caveat that I’m only stating the cliff-notes version, then I feel compelled to explain myself in detail.   Sometimes I just don’t want to go into detail.   Often in fact.

And then there are the big, pretentious sounding words I throw around every now and then.   I used the word “anathema” twice within two or three posts!   Who talks that way?   Honestly, I’m striving for a conversational style–believe it or not.   What other words am I supposed to use?   I could say these are “enemies” or “opposites”, neither of which is quite right,  or I could say they “annihilate like electrons and positrons”, but sometimes I’d like to avoid the metaphorical talk.   I should always avoid the physics metaphors.   The thesaurus is no help, because anathema means closer to “evil” or “accursed” when I’m looking for something along  the lines of  “dichotomy between good and evil” or the “evil reflection of something good”.  Even now I can’t do better.  Oh well.

I’m going to keep on using phrases like “ipso facto”,  “ex post” and “ceteris paribus”, though, even if they’re pretentious as well.   They’re all common phrases in the econ lit and I should keep using them until I feel confident.   Besides, (with the exception of “ceteris paribus”, “all else equal”)  they each reflect ideas which would be more awkward to translate into the English equivalent.

Take this post as a report card of sorts toward my goal of becoming a better persuasive writer:  it could be going worse.

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Categories: About Me
  1. July 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Basically, there are two ways to become a better writer:
    1) Read a lot.
    2) Write a lot.

    Really, it is just one way, since you have to do both.

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