black braces

Simple declarative sentences are good.

I did sign up to write that prompt, and I do indeed have a plot idea that is raging around in my brain. Soon it will become words in a text file. I have a setting, an inciting incident, a general atmosphere, a point of view, and a fresh pot of coffee. Could I want anything more?

It was time for my annual re-read of Orwell's "Politics and the English Language", and I have therefore re-read it. It's always rejuvenating. If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself.

I am inspired to ban all use of the word "problematic" for a while. Make people say what their problem is right out in plain words instead. Alas, I'm not in charge of anything. Not even my own home. Ms Inky Blot Cat is in charge of that. Just ask her. (I did so, and she claims that the state of her cream bowl is problematic. See how far I got with that project?)

Time for a fresh cup of that coffee.

Today's reading: The utterly fabulous The Great Moppet Caper by Blood Bytes.
  • Current Music: Megalithic : John O'Callaghan, Aly & Fila : Never Fade Away (Bonus Track Version)
I'm glad somebody liked my prompt :3 And I've promised myself that I would actually write something in all my free time, so I may very well snag the one you left.
Go for it! Write it! I would be delighted!

And I hope you're okay with slightly plotty with, er, Watcher secret societies and stuff.
That sounds great! It's what I was going for with the whole 'similar rite' thing - I wanted to leave it nice and open for such creativity.

Also, I'm totally grabbing that prompt.
Sadly, I can never eliminate "problematic" from my vocabulary, as it is fairly essential in academese.

However, I don't think I have ever used it in a fic.
Really? Are you sure you couldn't rewrite to say the same thing in clear English? (Orwell is gazing at you sternly.)
Mr Pedia wants to know if that's because it doesn't actually mean anything.

(ETA: Now he's complaining that he had wanted to put his snarky comment into my mouth instead of standing behind it himself! Mr Pedia, you will note, is vastly amused by the Sokal Affair.)

Edited at 2010-03-10 05:23 am (UTC)
it's problematic
(Anonymous)
Well, I was going to say something else, but I see I'm talking a lot without moving my lips. It's a snarky comment. I don't even know what it means to "stand behind it". I'd have said the exact reverse: 'tenna wanted to use my snarky riposte but then wimped out and quoted it. And of course then introduced the Sokal Affair of which I am sure she has only the vaguest comprehension.

Look at the bright side: all this perambulation is because she is afeared of accidentally offending you! She must like you.

On my part, I wasn't actually curious.
The Sokal Affair? Does this mean the argument he and I had about sports through your IM conversation? Or is this referring to something else?

"Problematic" is one of those words you have to explain in a specific context or it doesn't mean anything, yes. Often it can be edited out, but sometimes not. It is much better than "interesting," however.

Okay, I officially have no idea what "the Sokal Affair" is.

Edited at 2010-03-10 05:37 am (UTC)
l'affaire de Sokal
(Anonymous)
A rabid-communist math prof named Sokal took time off from tutoring Sandinistas to complain about the way crypto-reactionaries had hijacked Academic discourse on the way lambasting the scientific endeavor (as within the journal "Social Text").

His point was that here in the REAL world Science, Math, and generally fact-based education have a huge correlation with the leftification of society (or arguably the less-rightification), i.e. scientific inspection constantly overturns the "common sense" and reactionary assumptions of privilege and specialness adhering to race or gender; as well as growing the general standard of living, etc.

The easy counter of course is that there are always "scientists" available to put the stamp of authority (like "expert witnesses") on any particular prejudice.

And Sokal's counter-counter is that if you have the vaguest clue you can easily tell the difference between such fake pseudo-science and real science.

He then proceeded to create a beautiful piece of conceptual art, a lengthy essay justifying schools of criticism as natural outgrowths of einsteinian relativity and etc. It was all complete nonsense end-to-end, and it was published in Social Text as serious criticism. So he wrote up this experiment for a scientific journal and thus was formed the Sokal Affair.

What I think he proved thereby is completely different from what he thinks he proved thereby (I asked him), and hence I have several layers of amusement. My subsequent research has led me to yet a third view. But I'm not sharing.
problematic still
(Anonymous)
"problematic" is best used to mean, "we can't use any facts or conclusions from this topic space as a basis of conversation, because incompatible views remain unresolved and there is no consensus." Which means of course your stark choice is either to argue about the core disagreement or change the subject.

(It's important to grasp that often the disagreement is false or faked, and "problematic" is hence a political maneuver.)

"Problematic" is supposed to mean "reasonable people could disagree", but it is often deployed to give the false impression that the debate is not conclusively settled.