I’m Not Eating Your Word Salad
This is a bitch session. Get over it.
One thing I really have issues with is the need by certain Heathen “scholars” to use pretentious words. You know whence I speak. We’re talking arch-heathens, thew, frith, grith, innangard, praxi, and whatever other words they’ve come up with. They may be saying something important, but their need to come up with fanciful wordage just kills me. It’s word salad, plain and simple. And it needs to go away.
I’m sure you’ve read other people’s blogs and know exactly what I mean. It’s like the writer fell in love with the mishmash of terms and threw them together in some sagely sounding bout of verbal diarrhea. The ideas aren’t particularly complex, but the writer has decided that obfuscation is better than writing clearly. What’s more, because they’re using those oh-so-big words, they’re sure they sound extra important, even if most of the audience doesn’t understand them.
Most of the time I look at what they say and groan. Dudes, you are not sounding intelligent. You’re sounding pretentious as Hel. It’s like an arch-Heathen circle jerk. The moment you start throwing this crap at me, I dodge and split. I have other things to do with my time.
You’re Not Faulkner, and Certainly Not Hemingway
William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway were literary opposites to the point where they insulted each other frequently. Hemingway was a reporter and knew how to write. Faulkner went through the dictionary, hoping to send his readers there. (I’m more of a Hemingway fan than a Faulkner fan.)
“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” — Faulkner on Hemingway.
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?” — Hemingway on Faulkner.
The truth is those Heathens who think they’re sounding smart actually sound like my dog when she barfs. They aren’t Faulkner, and they sure as shit aren’t Hemingway.
Ignoring the Basic Beauty of Anglo-Saxon
What I find odd is these so-called scholars have ignored the basics of the Anglo-Saxon language. Most of the simpler words we use today are from Anglo-Saxon. The big, ostentatious words are usually Latin-derived. Occasionally, they use archaic words borrowed from Old English or German. Aren’t there better, easier to understand words available?
As a professional writer, it’s my duty to write for maximum comprehension. That means I write clearly so most people can read what I write. If I try to sound collegiate, it takes away the writing’s clarity.
Most of these people writing word salad aren’t scholars or writers. I have a Masters degree and a Masters certificate, which at least puts me in the post graduate league. I’ve studied Latin and Anglo Saxon in college. And I am a professional writer with more books published than many of you have in number of years. So, I think I’ve got a sufficient reason to gripe. Many who talk the talk are amateurs; albeit, some are talented ones. They don’t have the necessary training in logical thinking or deduction. The moment they start with the word salad, I know whom I am dealing with. And it ain’t pretty.
You Have to Wonder…
Part of me wonders if maybe the lofty, lurid, purple prose is an intentional subterfuge. After all, if people don’t know what in the Hel you’re saying, it’s hard for them to dispute it. And if it sounds lofty, then doesn’t it make sense that some people might like to parrot it? Hmm…Got to wonder about it.
As a follower of Tyr, I know that what I say doesn’t make me popular with some people. But just once I’d like for all the word salad junkies to step back and speak plainly. Who knows? You might actually win a convert in The Rational Heathen.