In any other publication that would have been the title. But Steven Pinker's writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education so he calls it Why Academics Stink at Writing
. Yes, you. I'm talking to you
The preceding discussion introduced the problem of academese, summarized the principal theories, and suggested a new analysis based on a theory of Turner and Thomas. The rest of this article is organized as follows. The first section consists of a review of the major shortcomings of academic prose. ...
Are you having fun? I didn’t think so.
Thus he introduces metadiscourse. Next up is professional narcissism, followed by apologizing, shudder quotes, and hedging. And then, just when his subjects ought to dying of embarrassment, he eases up and talks about metaconcepts and nominalizations. Just to prove he’s one of the guys, I guess.
I've never read anything boring by Steven Pinker, although one of his books
I thought was 300 pages too long. His latest is The Sense of Style
: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.
I’m sure I’ll read it too, as soon as it’s out in paperpack.