Recently I came across this extract that strikes me as social science, jargon-ridden writing bent on transforming English language into a strange Latinized and Germanic hybrid. It read, “process use, then, includes cognitive, attitudinal, and behavior changes in individuals, and program or organizational changes resulting, either directly or indirectly, from engagement in the evaluation process and learning to think evaluatively (e.g., increased evaluation capacity, integrating evaluation into the program, goals clarification, conceptualizing the program’s logic model, setting evaluation priorities, and improving outcomes measurement).”
I don’t know what “process use” could possibly mean, and I am none the wiser having read the above sentence. To learn this arcane academic language, the trick is to replace all simple, clear Anglo-Saxon words by their polysyllabic Greek or Latin equivalents. Then, jam together nouns in the best Germanic manner, thus: “process use,” “behavior changes,” “evaluation capacity,” “goals clarification,” “logic model,” “evaluation priorities,” leading triumphantly to “outcomes measurement.”
Even with this primer, the above passage leads only to a headache. George Orwell was complaining that the English language is “in a bad way” in 1946, and in certain kinds of academic writing, it’s getting worse.
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