Monday, January 2, 2017

Writers Need to Use Readable Words

Yes, it’s been awhile since I’ve written in this space. I apologize for the lapse.
Truth is, I haven’t been feeling so hot. Diabetes and a bad back causing lots of problems. I don’ think the two are related – at least I haven’t heard any theories linking the two, but it’s not out of the question. I fully expect that, every time I visit my primary, he’s going to offer me a new pill that cures those two maladies and everything else I’m living with. He’s a miracle man; he has a pill for everything.
This diabetes is some serious business. I have an awful time keeping blood sugars at an acceptable level. And memory loss is annoying as hell. I was having episodes during which I was literally brain dead; I could not response to simple questions. I’m calling it diabetic amnesia. For example, we had a computer tech over one day to help out with a few things. He asks my password, and I could not for the life of me think of what it was. He asks my email address – same thing. These times usually don’t last very long, and I’m back to normal. He said he’d call the next day, but he didn’t. I must have spooked him. There’s something about mental derangement, no matter how temporary, that does that to people.
There is, however, a lasting effect to this experience. Somewhere along the line I’ve lost the ability to comprehend college-level/ scholarly reading material. Oh, I can reason out meanings and such but the dictionary is always within arm’s reach. Even then, sometimes it’s tough. I find that after reading a paragraph (or sometimes just a sentence), I can’t remember what I’ve read. I’ve put down several books over the past couple of months for that reason.
For instance, I’m currently reading “All the Real Indians Died Off,” by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker. What should be an interesting book on the plight of American Indians during the nineteenth century is, for me, a nightmare to read. I’m loathe to criticize two obvious scholars, both of whom appear to be truly concerned with the ragged treatment of the Indians, but there appears to be considerable overreach in the use of vocabulary. They seem to be trying to impress their audience with how smart they are. I’m sure they are both intelligent women, but they need to back off with the words. I was taught to write like you speak. Scholars want to sound scholarly, but, if they want to sell more books, they need to be readable. Ten years ago I would have had no problem with the words. Now, I do, and I’m sure there are others going through the same thing.
Another thing that bothers me about this book is that (as far as I can tell, from what I was able to read) it is just another whiny, woe-is-us, condemnation of white people. Most of us know how shabbily nineteenth-century whites treated the Indians. We get it. That it’s an issue with Indians is evident is the hundreds of books written on the subject. Some, at least, are readable.
Not only do we have American Indians writing volumes about American Indians getting the shaft more than a hundred years after the fact, we have black people still whining about slavery 150 years after a war that cost 600,000 American lives.  Volumes on both of these subjects can easily be found in the history section at almost any library. Note that says HISTORY section.
There two things that looking into these two subjects over the years has taught me. One, when I see a female author using a hyphenated last name, run like hell away from that book. There is, however, a bright side to all of this weepy-eyed chronicling  of white evil-doing  (dare I say racist?).At least these people have found something to do with themselves that they can make a living at. We can be happy not to be sending them checks every month. It’s similar to what very tall black men would be doing without the NBA?
What I don’t get is what they hope to gain by all the whining. Black people want reparations; Indians want their land back. That’s it?
My best advice - Go, Woof!

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Flip Side