Academic English – should we ban it?

I’m supposed to be writing a paper on the different capitalisms of Scandinavia, USA, Japan, etc. I have this huge stack of articles and papers given to me by my teacher and I’ve read about 1/4 of them. It’s not that they’re not interesting and useful, it’s mostly that the writing drives me insane. Economic Sociologists seem to think that they cannot possibly express their theories without resorting to endless sentences, unnecessary jargon and – well – word soup. It’s tiring.

Fortunately I also have a book in Icelandic. I’m really looking forward to that part of the reading. My English is usually good, but academic English is really quite mad at times.

I’m taking a course in academic English this summer so maybe I’ll be better able to both read it and write it. I’m also taking a course called Health in a Global Perspective at Sussex University later this summer, and this academic English course will hopefully make that easier. Writing papers in Icelandic is one thing, writing them in English and trying not to sound like a moron is quite another.


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