Utter pants


Does anyone remember the underpants gnomes’ profit plan in South Park?

Ahahaha. How absurd. The last bit doesn’t logically follow the first bit. Isn’t fiction fun?

Funny I should say that, because it’s not just fiction.

Look what the University of Wollongong is telling its students:

Highly nominalised writing can be difficult to read ... However, nominalisation is a significant feature of academic writing contributing greatly to its impersonal tone, abstraction and complexity. So learning how to use nominalisations in your own writing is an important part of becoming a sophisticated writer at university.

I’m sorry, what? Let’s deconstruct that.

First, they assert an opinion:

Highly nominalised writing can be difficult to read Yup, bang on. (For those who don’t know, ‘nominalisation’ means turning a verb into a noun. So ‘the use of’ instead of ‘using’, for example.)

Next, they drive that opinion home: nominalisation is a significant feature of academic writing contributing greatly to its impersonal tone, abstraction and complexity

Ouch. They’ve really got it in for nominalisation. Surely there can only be one way to end this argument:

So learning how to use nominalisations in your own writing is an important part of becoming a sophisticated writer

Astonishing. This must be why Neil hates teachers so much.

 


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on Feb 07, 2012

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