Note to readers

This is a blog that I'm required to keep that's full of unedited, near stream-of-consciousness reactions to similarly required and related readings in a graduate course in N.C. State University's Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program. The way these posts are written help me interrogate and understand what's going on in our readings. I'm identifying what's troublesome so that I can give it more thought, but the posts aren't written in a style that's productive for audiences outside of our class to read. That's by design. I start with contestation, then spend heavens only knows how long researching, recutting, and reevaluating so that I can try and see what potentially productive readings I can extract from these source for use in my own work's contributions back to the field. Comments encouraged, but please, you'll likely need a thick skin if your work is quoted here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Created, not produced

Academicians (and myself; for now I'll treat the two as separate groups) have a bad habit of using terms with capitalistic connotations.

Until such a specialist is created, studies like Herring et al’s and those that are like or cite it open themselves to being undermined...

Until such a specialist is produced, studies like Herring et al’s and those that are like or cite it open themselves to being undermined...

That is, unless you want to give support for Corporate U, in which case produced does invoke the right connotations. Don't worry, this doesn't make you evil, at least not by itself.

I also really really dislike when people use "emerge" as in "Darwin says life emerged from pools of primodal ooze," (nevermind if he didn't) when what they really mean is that, "The evil beast emerged from its lair to snack on Hrothgar's thanes." Very little in human culture "emerged" in some passive selective system. That's oxymoronic. Something's usually created or, more and more likely, produced. This includes your new fangled idea. It didn't emerge. You feed it and created a room for it to grow until it sprang from your forehead. Though it may appear to have seemingly sprung fully formed form the start, we know the metaphor here is less Athena and more kangaroo fetus. *ewww* That's right. There's no passive emergence in society, folk. Quit being lazy and pick the word you mean to use.

I blame misinterpretations of Foucault for all the trendy uses of "emergence", by the way. It's supposed to be a code word for saying, "I'm a humanities scholar!" but is said with all of the conviction of Yoda in Thumb Wars telling us he's a puppet (about 15:20 in). Irony.


Now playing: The Black Crowes - Remedy

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