ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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English, Clearly

In a multilingual nation like India, where English is the language of a select few, it is all the more imperative to aim for plain writing that shuns gobbledygook, jargon and legalese.

Academic or semi-academic writing in English in India could be characterised, a la Steven Pinker, as “turgid, doggy, wooden, bloated...”. Here are a couple of examples from EPW itself:

“Social reality is best comprehended if it’s analysed, inferred, explained, interpreted with the help of conceptual abstractions that are (a) either deeply rooted in its structure, culture and historical process, (b) or, are sufficiently efficient in capturing the complex realities…”.

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