Reducing Jargon and “Academese”

First, be understood.

You will be tempted to “sound academic” when writing papers for college courses. Professors may make you feel it’s essential to your success that you sound like a language-making machine. Nothing could be more harmful to your style. Nothing could do more damage to your coherence.

“Academic” arguments say things like:

In light of the discussions that identify the implication of misrepresentation and exploitation of a subordinated culture by a dominant culture, the concept of cultural appropriation as an adverse inference has provided the ground for a contradiction. The countered argument redirects the notion of cultural appropriation with parameters and amplifiers that provides context to the wrongfulness that underlines cultural appropriation and sets the idea that there may be a dependent factor by the subordinate culture that must be met. 

And that may be fine for an audience of other academics already well versed in the details of the topic under discussion. But if you’re not terribly skilled at such language, the result of trying to emulate it is usually disastrous. I suggest:

Many claim that borrowing or reinterpreting aspects of a weaker culture by a stronger one necessarily harms the subordinate culture. But that is true, and the borrowing is wrong, only if the weaker culture in some way depends on the dominant one.


Some other examples.

It is difficult to imagine a society that is not influenced by music.

Music enlivens and shapes every society.

The influence that music has may be illustrated as forms of expression or ways of living that often indicate struggles, oppression, or movements against mainstream authoritative systems.

In lyrics and songs, musicians express their struggles against oppression.

Music artists, especially those within the hip hop genre, utilize their experiences to express their political and social views as a form of social activism.

As social activists, hip hop artists in particular deploy their art to express outrage at the status quo.

With the understanding of the cultural aspect of music creation, which considers these forms of expressions, the concept of cultural appropriation takes form as the exploitation of another culture’s music creation by utilizing their language, environment, political or personal struggles without understanding the cultural foundation.

The thoughtless appropriation of hip hop “style” by artists disinterested in the personal struggles or politics of the original creators is exploitation for profit, pure and simple.

In the entertainment industry, the challenge that often impacts success stems from consumer behavior, economic growth, and the industry’s culture.

Even conscientious artists, if they want to achieve stardom, succumb to the demands of record companies to appeal to consumer demand.

Understanding that there is a financial benefit to making music and that success is impacted by selling music, the issue becomes finding ways to maximize the financial benefit.

Understandably, the music business is driven by a desire to please consumers. And that profit motive contaminates any respect artists may have for the cultures they “borrow” from.

Stardom in the music industry has become a stage where only a few musicians survive.

Only the most ruthless musicians achieve stardom.

How far the musician gets depends on the music industry’s adoption of the changes from consumer behavior and preferences to listening and purchasing music.

Those who cater to “whatever the consumers will buy” rise to the top.

This phenomenon has been indicated to impact monetary provision to music artists and creates the notion of “making it” in the music industry.

Success in music is measured by sales, not by quality or decency.

It is in this area of entertainment is where cultural appropriation takes its shape in a debate between a wrongful act of misrepresentation and exploitation versus cultural appreciation for the different cultural traditions.

What begins as cultural appreciation for the music of another culture quickly degrades into cultural appropriation for profit when money rules every decision.

In this arena, musicians struggle between adaptations to corporate suggestions such as producing, singing and dancing what is considered a “music hit” regardless of the negative impact that may come from a cultural appropriation challenge.

When making music is reduced to making profits, even conscientious musicians abandon their appreciation for other cultures in favor of producing “hits,” regardless of the harm to the artists they exploit.


In-Class Exercise

Here’s another sample of some text burdened by academese. Copy it into the Reply field below and edit it into more natural language.

Societal disruption also has demonstrably shown its chaotic effects and thereby illuminated the inherent instability of the society in question, part of which is the inevitable consequence of technological instability. The American reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic produced a significant disruption to our economic norms, particularly but not exclusively in the relative employability of large parts of the population. As a chaotic response ensued from the outset of the pandemic, it became evident to anyone who wished to see that American health and bureaucratic institutions were armed to combat not this new pandemic but perhaps one of an earlier generation, for which such a chaotic response would have produced less instability. With any disruption to broad systemic norms of societal behavior, it is reasonable to expect some negative blowback and destabilization. However, when America—unlike many other nations that did not experience deep negative performance losses—was put to the test, a large underperformance in employment ensued.

9 Responses to Reducing Jargon and “Academese”

  1. l8tersk8ter says:

    With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in America came chaos and instability due to a disruption of societal norms that left much of the population unemployable. It became clear that the American government was not equipped to handle the outbreak in a way that would reduce chaos. Differently than many other countries, America fell in to large unemployment rates that led to the destabilization of the nation.

    Like

  2. gooferious says:

    Societal disruption’s chaotic effects illuminate the inherent instability of society which is the consequence of technological instability. Due to COVID-19, the American population reaction has effected our economic norms, especially in employment for large parts of the country. The American health and bureaucratic institutions are not armed to combat this new pandemic but have resolved past ones. With any shift in what is considered the normal or routine of Americans, there is bound to be some uproar. However, when America—unlike other nations that did not experience deep negative performance losses—was put to the test, underperformance in employment ensued.

    Like

  3. corinnebuck1219 says:

    Societal disruption also has demonstrably shown its chaotic effects and thereby illuminated the inherent instability of the society in question, part of which is the inevitable consequence of technological instability. The American reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic produced a significant disruption to our economic norms, particularly but not exclusively in the relative employability of large parts of the population. As a chaotic response ensued from the outset of the pandemic, it became evident to anyone who wished to see that American health and bureaucratic institutions were armed to combat not this new pandemic but perhaps one of an earlier generation, for which such a chaotic response would have produced less instability. With any disruption to broad systemic norms of societal behavior, it is reasonable to expect some negative blowback and destabilization. However, when America—unlike many other nations that did not experience deep negative performance losses—was put to the test, a large underperformance in employment ensued.

    Societal disruptions are chaotic and will demonstrate the instability of a society. We can see an example of this during the Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted economic norms, as well as the employment rates. As a result, many wished this pandemic could have been caught sooner and precautions been installed before we got too deep in. With social disruptions, it is normal to expect negative blow backs in many different fields. America, being one of the countries to face many negative performances, surely was affected by our unemployment rates.

    Like

  4. sonnypetro29 says:

    Societal disruption has shown its chaotic effects and it inherents instability of the society in question, part of which is the inevitable consequence of technological instability. The American reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic brought disruption to our economic norms. In the relative employability of large parts of the population. As a chaotic response from the outset of the pandemic, it became evident to anyone who wished to see that American health and bureaucratic institutions were armed to combat not this new pandemic, but perhaps one of an earlier generation, for which such a chaotic response would have produced less instability. With any disruption to broad systemic norms of societal behavior, it is reasonable that blowback and destabilization occur. When America—unlike many other nations that did not experience deep negative performance losses—was put to the test, a large underperformance in employment ensued.

    Like

  5. dayzur says:

    Societal disruption has shown its chaotic effects and thereby illuminated the instability of the society in question. Part of which is the inevitable consequence of technological instability. The American reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic produced a significant disruption to our economic norms in the relative employability of large parts of the population. As a response ensued from the pandemic, it became evident to anyone that American health and bureaucratic institutions were not armed to combat this new pandemic but perhaps one of an earlier generation. With any disruption to broad systemic norms of societal behavior, it is reasonable to expect some negative blowback and destabilization. However, when America was put to the test, a large underperformance in employment ensued, whereas many other nations did not experience deep negative performance losses.

    Like

  6. bluntwriting88 says:

    The American reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic produced a significant disruption to our economic norms, particularly but not exclusively in the employability of large parts of the population. The American bureaucracies, both state and federal, were drastically unprepared to handle the chaos. When America—unlike many other nations that did not experience deep negative performance losses—was put to the test, a large underperformance in employment ensued.

    Like

  7. pardonmyfrench13 says:

    The COVID 19 pandemic has created societal disruption and shown chaotic effects due to the disruption of social and economic norms. The American reaction to the pandemic left much of the population jobless. It became evident to everyone that the government was not properly equipped to combat such quick instability. During any major world disaster or pandemic, it is reasonable to expect some negative blowback and destabilization. However, in America—unlike many other nations, unemployment rates continue to rise, and the destabilization of the nation continues to sit in.

    Like

  8. comicdub says:

    The current COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered how truly unstable our society can be. The reaction of Americans has left many people unemployed, throwing the economy out of whack. As a response, people started blaming institutions for not being prepared for something like the COVID-19 pandemic. Disruption to the normal everyday society is expected for a pandemic of this nature but when Americans were truly put to the test, they failed.

    Like

  9. SmilingDogTheProfWants says:

    Societal disruption has shown its chaotic effects and thereby illuminated the instability of the society in question, part of which is the inevitable consequence of technological instability. The American reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic produced a significant disruption to our economic norms, particularly in the relative employability of large parts of the population. As chaos ensued from the outset of the pandemic, it became evident to anyone who wished to see that American health and bureaucratic institutions were armed to combat not this new pandemic, but one of an earlier generation, for which such a chaotic response would have produced less instability. It is reasonable to expect some negative blowback and destabilization from a widespread attack on everyday life. However, when America—unlike many other nations that did not experience deep negative performance losses—was put to the test, a large underperformance in employment ensued.

    Like

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