Who we are/How we write

glevy at acnet.pratt.edu glevy at acnet.pratt.edu
Fri Sep 1 10:01:32 MDT 1995

Juan's defense of his writing style has prompted me to respond since it
touches on one of my favorite gripes against some radicals:

Juan essentially said that his writing style is a (I would add, very
incomplete) reflection of who he is (and how he understands the world and
interacts and communicates with people).  I believe there is some truth
to this observation -- our writing style and our language is a reflection
of our essence.

What can we say about Juan's essence based on his writing style? (I am
walking on very shaky ground here).

Juan chooses the prose he does because he believes it best reflects his
understanding  of the world. What does it mean, though, in terms of our
essence when the  language that we use isn't understood by the people we
interact with?

Does Juan believe that he could converse with a group of workers using
the same style of language that he uses with us?  If so, I would suggest
that he visit Scott Marshall. Scott could take him on a tour of the very
interesting sites relating to US labor history in Chicago and a tour of
the factories and gathering places (like bars) where workers are
congregated in the "Illinois Class War Zone."

If we can't communicate with workers in a way that they can understand,
what does that tell us about who we are?


PS to Scott: If the above comes to pass, could you please videotape it
and send me a copy? Thanks. --Jerry

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