Anderson, NLR and all that

Jurriaan Bendien j.bendien at
Tue Jan 2 15:58:19 MST 2001

>CB: What's wrong with using a dictionary ?

When is a question worth asking ? I get annoyed when socialists, whose
political constituency is supposed to be ordinary working people, start to
talk in a rarified academic (really haute bourgeois) language using words
you have to look up in a dictionary in order to understand the nuance of
what they mean. It's a kind of linguistic elitism that is inappropriate in
my view. When you check it out, you find that for all the difficult words
that are being used, there are simpler, readily understood alternatives.
But of course then you don't have the "mystique" of a specialised language
anymore. I am sensitive to this because I have worked professionally as
translator and editor of a lot of leftwing literature. I have translated
e.g. for Science & Society and the Review of the Fernand Braudel Institute,
subedited an article for NLR and so on to mention a few things.



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