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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Literary Critic

One thing I've noticed in campus visit talks and dissertations lately is the use of identifying tag phrases like "As literary critic Marjorie Perloff has argued..." Why do people do this? Is this being taught explicitly to grad students? It is highly annoying. If you are quoting people in your own field (literary / cultural studies) you don't need to identify them with a tag. You can reserve those phrases if you really need to identify the person. Say, you are quoting an economist in literary studies, or the identifying information is relevant or interesting in some way. Otherwise it is pure Dan Brown.

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3 comments:

Vance Maverick said...

I see it more too now, but in journalism and casual writing. I'm old enough that it reminds me of a certain era of Time style, though the ugly compression ("linguist Chomsky") seems to have been abandoned.

Axldemic said...

I see it in casual writing too. I certainly don't recall ever being taught to do it in a grad school context (I'm getting my doctorate in English/writing studies). I think you might be giving Brown a little too much credit, though...

Vance Maverick said...

And listening to Q2 Music, every couple of days I hear their promo with little snippets of voices saying "I'm composer David Lang ... I'm composer Peteris Vasks..."