How to speak and write postmodern

How to Speak and Write Postmodern
by Stephen Katz, Associate Professor, Sociology.
Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Here is a quick guide, then, to speaking and writing postmodern.

First, you need to remember that plainly expressed language is out of the question. It is too realist, modernist and obvious. Postmodern language requires that one uses play, parody and indeterminacy as critical techniques to point this out. Often this is quite a difficult requirement, so obscurity is a well-acknowledged substitute. For example, let’s imagine you want to say something like, “We should listen to the views of people outside of Western society in order to learn about the cultural biases that affect us”. This is honest but dull. Take  the word “views”. Postmodernspeak would change that to “voices”, or better, “vocalities”, or even better, “multivocalities”. Add an adjective like “intertextual”, and you’re covered. “People outside” is also too plain. How about “postcolonial others”? To speak postmodern
properly one must master a bevy of biases besides the familiar racism, sexism, ageism, etc. For example, phallogocentricism (male-centredness combined with rationalistic forms of binary logic).

Finally “affect us” sounds like plaid pajamas. Use more obscure verbs and phrases, like “mediate our identities”. So, the final statement should say, “We should listen to the intertextual, multivocalities of postcolonial others outside of Western culture in order to learn about the phallogocentric biases that mediate our identities”. Now you’re talking postmodern!

Sometimes you might be in a hurry and won’t have the time to muster even the minimum number of postmodern synonyms and neologisms needed to avoid public disgrace. Remember, saying the wrong thing is acceptable if you say it the right way. This brings me to a second important strategy in speaking postmodern, which is to use as many suffixes, prefixes, hyphens, slashes, underlinings and anything else your computer (an absolute must to write postmodern) can dish out. You can make a quick reference chart to avoid time delays. Make three columns. In column A put your prefixes; post-, hyper-, pre-, de-, dis-, re-, ex-, and counter-. In column B go your suffixes and related endings; -ism, -itis, -iality, -ation, -itivity, and -tricity. In column C add a series of well-respected names that make for impressive adjectives or schools of thought, for example, Barthes (Barthesian), Foucault (Foucauldian, Foucauldianism), Derrida (Derridean, Derrideanism).

Now for the test. You want to say or write something like, “Contemporary buildings are alienating”. This is a good thought, but, of course, a non-starter. You wouldn’t even get offered a second round of crackers and cheese at a conference reception with such a line. In fact, after saying this, you might get asked to stay and clean up the crackers and cheese after the reception. Go to your three columns. First, the prefix. Pre- is useful, as is post-, or several prefixes at once is terrific. Rather than “contemporary building””, be creative. “The Pre/post/spatialities of counter-architectural hyper-contemporaneity” is promising. You would have to drop the weak and dated term “alienating” with some well suffixed words from column B. How about “antisociality”, or be more postmodern and introduce ambiguity with the linked phrase, “antisociality/seductivity”.

Now, go to column C and grab a few names whose work everyone will agree is important and hardly anyone has had the time or the inclination to read. Continental European theorists are best when in doubt. I recommend the sociologist Jean Baudrillard since he has written a great deal of difficult material about postmodern space. Don’t forget to make some mention of gender. Finally, add a few smoothing out words to tie the whole garbled mess together and don’t forget to pack in the hyphens, slashes and parentheses. What do you get? “Pre/post/spacialities of counter-architectural hyper-contemporaneity (re)commits us to an ambivalent recurrentiality of antisociality/seductivity, one enunciated in a de/gendered-Baudrillardian discourse of granulated subjectivity”. You should be able to hear a postindustrial pin drop on the retrocultural floor.

At some point someone may actually ask you what you’re talking about. This risk faces all those who would speak postmodern and must be carefully avoided. You must always give the questioner the impression that they have missed the point, and so send another verbose salvo of postmodernspeak in their direction as a “simplification” or “clarification” of your original statement. If that doesn’t work, you might be left with the terribly modernist thought of, “I don’t know”. Don’t worry, just say, “The instability of your question leaves me with several contradictorily layered responses whose interconnectivity cannot express the logocentric coherency you seek. I can only say that reality is more uneven and its (mis)representations more untrustworthy than we have time here to explore”. Any more questions? No, then pass the cheese and crackers.

127 thoughts on “How to speak and write postmodern

  1. s/b: “Empower the intersense modalities of postindustrial nutritive critique through hyperdissemnination.” [Was: "pass the cheese & crackers"]

  2. Dear Prof. Stephen Katz,

    As an alumni of Trent’s Theory, Culture, and Politics MA, I can’t help but feel that your joking attack is directed against or inspired by some of my former colleagues. Allow me to offer something like a defence. The problem you point out is irritating, but I think your view on the problem is narrow and distracts you from the main issue. It could also give the impression that you are picking on certain people.

    The problem is as old as Plato. Remember the Meno? Socrates offers Meno his alternate definition of colour as “an effluence from shapes commensurate with sight and perceptible by it”, which Meno likes very much, and Socrates adds, “Yes, it’s a high-sounding answer, so you like it better”. Meno is a thoughtless but ‘cultured’ individual who likes things that sound high and tragic, even if they are not useful or true. Socrates tries to lead Meno away from the superficially highfalutin, but to no avail. At any rate, the exercise is more for our sake than for Meno’s.

    Socrates offers a very interesting explanation for this preference for the highfalutin in the Phaedrus. He says, “All sciences of importance require the addition of babbling and lofty talk about nature; for the relevant high-mindedness and effectiveness in all directions seem to come from some such source as that”. Note that he does not say the sciences suffer or endure lofty talk, like an occupational hazard, but that they need this besides (the greek is προσδέονται), in order to place the listeners in the right frame of mind, to consider the high, important, or grave things. I suppose this may be the motivation behind much of the lofty babbling that goes on at universities these days, and not just among “postmoderns”. We cannot simply go from zero to sixty, from shopping and shitting to genocide, ecological catastrophe, and class warfare, without the intermediary of some kind of high-sounding speech. We must put ourselves in the right frame of mind to deal with serious questions. It might be worth considering whether there are not circles of humanity that would subject you to similar ridicule for using such phrases as “parody and indeterminacy as critical techniques” or “verbose salvo”. I would not normally indulge the baser impulses, and I hope that I may be forgiven for doing so here, only to make a point, but the raging alcoholic in me is jeering, “well fuck your fancy pants!” I’m sure you know of friends like these.

    We all have lows and highs, but it takes some effort to journey into the higher regions (the reverse movement is somehow ‘easier’). Perhaps what is irritating about “postmodern” babbling is that it makes the effort of ascending into lofty rhetoric to deal with topics that do not seem gravely important. I, too, am baffled by books and conference papers on inter-“whatever”. I do not always see the profound importance of the subject that would warrant the intellectual effort. And in the worst instances, I have the feeling that the person is not interested in the grave and important questions at all, but only in appearing to be grave and important. These people, perhaps, must be suffered as an occupational hazard; but, in speaking with friends, it seems charlatanism is not exclusive to academia. However, I am mollified if at least academic writers evince by their speeches that there are important human questions that deserve our serious attention. You may have a different understanding of what constitutes “serious attention”, but I suspect you also share their belief that there are important human (i.e. social, political, ethical) questions that deserve thought and respect. Some people do not bother with this sort of thinking at all. Some believe that moral and ethical questions are a waste of time or irrelevant, or worse, that people who are inspired by a sense of responsibility, duty, and obligation, are weak and deserve to be exploited. I am much more concerned about those people than the well-intentioned if foolish, babbling, high-minded postmoderns.

    I was directed to your post through social media. I am not a regular reader of your blog, and my comments should not be taken as a reflection of your “way of thinking”. Your post may be a comic reprieve and wholly innocent. I meant to address an issue of general interest. I took this opportunity to work through some thoughts that have been troubling me, for I have also ridiculed foolish postmodern babbling. I share your irritation and, to some extent, your sense of humour. I have tried to articulate that point of view from which we judge and satirize, if only to make clear that these jokes are all in good fun and do not (or should not) arise from malice. There is a fine line between comedy and cruelty. I joke–I hope to joke!–to show people the error of their ways, not to demean.

    Thanks for the laughs and the opportunity to reflect.

    All the best,
    David McLeish

    • I totally agree with what you say. Joking about postmodern rethoric is somewhat demagogic and populist… It´s the same as to say “my kid could paint that” in front of a Rothko.

    • “Note that he does not say the sciences suffer or endure lofty talk, like an occupational hazard, but that they need this besides (the greek is προσδέονται), in order to place the listeners in the right frame of mind, to consider the high, important, or grave things. I suppose this may be the motivation behind much of the lofty babbling that goes on at universities these days, and not just among “postmoderns”. We cannot simply go from zero to sixty, from shopping and shitting to genocide, ecological catastrophe, and class warfare, without the intermediary of some kind of high-sounding speech.”

      I don’t know if your example from the Meno and the passage you cite from the Phaedrus are talking about the same thing. There’s a difference between rhetoric and empty posturing. But if you’re right about the use of postmodern vocabulary, it’s got to be a sign of the depravity of our own times that one has to speak cryptically or even unintelligibly in order to convey emotional gravity. A skilled orator is capable of expressing emotions in words without resorting to cheap gimmicks. It’s unfortunate that these days persons of such ability are so rare.

    • “We cannot simply go from zero to sixty, from shopping and shitting to genocide, ecological catastrophe, and class warfare, without the intermediary of some kind of high-sounding speech. We must put ourselves in the right frame of mind to deal with serious questions.”

      Normally I am always in the mindset to deal with serious issues; so much so, that when the occasion calls for silly it requires a deliberate effort on my part to respond appropriately . So what your comment tells me, is that the postmodernist speakers are by default, naturally silly and find being serious difficult. Which shouldn’t be surprising since the youngin’s among them can found on most Saturday nights gorging themselves on Ecstasy and rainbows.

    • David, it seems your defence turned into something of an agreement by the end. I was getting ready to offer a rebuttal, but then you went and caveated everything into nullification. There is, of course, merit to some postmodern thought; but what the author and many others such as myself take exception to is the use of impenetrable verbosity in place of ideas; as you say having the appearance of things rather than being concerned with the substance.

      Postmodernism language offers one of the most fertile breeding grounds for pretentious idiocy ever constructed. The shame of it is that language is beautiful and can be used to much more useful ends, so it’s not to say that words with more than three syllables are bad, but rather that complexity for complexity or pretension’s sake is worthy of contempt. Perhaps its worst aspect is that it helps to spread the conflation of such pretence with important, relevant thinking.

      Einstein said something to the effect of ‘genius is complexity made simple’. I very much agree with him. Writing is, or at least should be, a method of communication; and one of the really quite important goals of communication is to communicate. This doesn’t mean that we have to dumb things down, but expressing complex ideas in a simple way is the mark of someone who properly understands the subject matter (Richard Feynman is a good example of this, and said something to that effect too, I think).

      I created a website at http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com that attempts to simplify things without losing any of their meaning. It’s possible, but it’s hard. I reduced each of the 24 most common fallacies to a single simple sentence that most ten-year-olds could understand. The more verbose fallacy explanations on the interwebs didn’t offer any more meaning, just more (and more complex) words.

      Sometimes an esoteric word is relevant and useful. Most of the time, though, simple ones will not only do, but be quite a lot more effective.

      • I don’t get that Nietzsche is supposed to be difficult reading. Maybe it has to do with a particular translation, but his language is very clear and direct. In fact, compared to his contemporaries, it’s easy reading, which may very well be part of the reason why he wasn’t taken seriously as a philosopher in his own time…not post-modern enough.

        What I find extremely difficult to read is Kant though, but unlike post-modernists, he is difficult to read because his language is so extremely precise, not because of inherent ambiguity.

        And then there is Heidegger. He strikes me as one of the post-modernist-like types who used lofty language for its own sake.

    • Why should we taken someone seriously who gets his grammar wrong already in the first sentence (I am an alumni – seriously, how many people are you?)

      • If you’re criticizing someone’s grammar, you might realize that you singly cannot be an alumni. An alumna, or if one prefers the English gender-neutral neologism, an alum. You might suffer from DPD, so you might be an alumni after all.

      • Obviously his editorial staff was out when he wrote this post. Shame on him for writing a reply without passing it through you first.
        (BTW, your staff was out too – “Why should we taken someone seriously?” Maybe you’d like for us to extend your idea more largesse than you were willing to give Mr. McLeish.)
        But since you’re asking – we should take anyone seriously until weakness in either their ideas or their attitude tells us we shouldn’t.

      • CRISTINE—WHO IS UR GRAMMAR TEACHER BY THE WAY? “WHY SHOULD WE TAKEN” !!!! what is it…???U SHOULD HAVE CHECKED IT BEFORE U MAKE A POINT

    • “Alumni” and not “alumnus”? My name is Legion for we are many! This phenomena of using a plural for a singular is becoming firmly established and no one seems bothered to follow even a simple criteria for distinguishing between the two.

      • I don’t think he’s using quotation marks incorrectly. I think punctuation should go inside quotations when it’s a full sentence quote. Antinatter is using quotation marks to emphasize.
        I get what you mean, though. I am personally annoyed with several old authors who have constructed their lists so that sometimes an italicized word ends with an italicized semicolon. Mostly because when retyping it in html, I constantly make the errors in italicizing the semicolons myself.

        If I’m already commenting I’ll say a few words on what you call postmodernism. I for one wouldn’t call it postmodernism because I’m not exactly sure what this word designates. I would call it simply bad writing. I have read some Barthes, Foucault and Derrida and found them to be interesting. They are good writers who have worked hard to define their neologisms or at least pointed out their origin. Opening a random page in Barthes’ The Semiotic Challenge we can read: “….I shall remind you that the notion of Isonomy, created for sixth-century Athens by a man like Cleisthenes…”
        I am annoyed by authors who don’t bother to refer to the origins of their obscure or abstruse notions and write in words that they presume you should already know by heart. For example, an actual sentence by someone named Herbert Blau says: “While the breaking and tearing continued, through the anatomy of modernism, as the structural principle of artistic forms, there were as a preface to postmodern performance various notions of body consciousness or disciplines of the thinking body or the signifying body or, amidst the baffling semurgy of exchangeable signs, regimens of the body and its authority in the rhetorical struggle to assure a future.” (“The Surpassing Body”, 1991, pp. 74).
        Not knowing what exactly modernism and postmodernism designate, what are the “disciplines of the thinking body” and what is “semurgy” (my dictionary doesn’t help), I am left with nothing intelligible. As some would put it, Blau has beaten me into submission by (undefined) jargon. And at the same time I have nothing against neologisms, archaisms and complex notions, as long as they are defined and made intelligible. Roman Jakobson quoted his teacher A. M. Peškovskij who said: “Let’s not quibble about terminology; if you have a weakness for new terms, use them. You may even call it ‘Ivan Ivanovich’, as long as we all know what you mean.”

      • As Rando says, I used the quotation marks to separate off or to emphasise the terms being compared. This is the first time I’ve encountered a criticism of this clearly useful practice. So, I ask out of curiosity, how would you rewrite that sentence?

    • I’m not sure the original article warranted this level of scrutiny or contemplation, but I very much enjoyed your letter/comment and absolutely agree with you on the wider social issues and (inverse) snobbery faced by academics.

    • As a history major, I have read a great deal of scholarship in my field and in other social sciences. Part of working in social sciences is the ability to communicate not just with colleagues/peers but with the public in general. If what you say is entirely indecipherable, then it’s not going to be of much use.

      Also, having read a bit of Derrida and others, what they say is simply baffling and they contradict themselves over and over again. They define things entirely arbitrarily for their own purposes and then accuse others of not understanding. Good academic work should not require having a headache to understand, it should be clear and its thesis understandable.

      And finally, I hate to say it, but much of post-modernism really is created by those who don’t understand the very subjects they write about. Lacan, for example, knows just enough in the medical sciences to get by, but uses the language inappropriately in many cases. Allan Sokol pointed this out by sending a paper that was literally nonsense (he wrote it as such) to a top post-modern journal and immediately being published.

      • “Good academic work should not require having a headache to understand, it should be clear and its thesis understandable.” Even in mathematics, there can be a tendency towards obscurity and jargon-mongering either in pursuit of terminological purity or perhaps to preserve one’s lead in a certain research topic by subtly retarding others’ understanding of it. But this is generally castigated or a good source of doctoral theses which clarify, substantiate and expand on the said obscurities. But in the humanities it seems to be a case of the quote attributed to Talleyrand or Voltaire: “Speech was given to man to conceal his thoughts.” Assuming they have any worthwhile thoughts to conceal.

        It’s not surprising to me that the worst offenders are probably the feminist “theorists”. I’m not sure that there are any actual technical qualifications or skills required of them. Probably just a lot of indignation and hyperverbality. No wonder they have to puff themselves up with incomprehensible jargon and go beyond the confines of phallogocentric logic (unless, of course, they are applying for grants or fighting for undeserved privileges, in which case they can suddenly become very lucid). University feminism/women’s studies must be one of the longest-running academic con jobs in history, comparable possibly only to theology.

  3. Oh darling, postmodernism is dead. We are (at the very least) in what we might refer to as a “meta-modern” period, and the prevailing approach must be ironic in nature, genderless in claim, and leave the listener both slightly confused as well as mildly irritated. Then, my friend, you have truly said something.

  4. Postmodern language? I call it gobbledygook. So did the late Thomas J. Watson, Jr., a late Chairman of IBM, in a letter to management, as far back as 1970. The letter is longer, but this is the most I could retrieve on short notice.

    Gobbledygook
    A foreign language has been creeping into many of the presentations I hear and the memos I read. It adds nothing to a message but noise, and I want your help in stamping it out. It’s called gobbledygook. There’s no shortage of examples. Nothing seems to get finished anymore it gets “finalized.” Things don’t happen at the same time but “coincident with this action.” Believe it or not, people will talk about taking a “commitment position” and then because of the “volatility of schedule changes” they will “decommit” so that our “posture vis-à-vis some data base that needs a sizing will be able to enhance competitive positions.” That’s gobbledygook. (February 19, 1970)

  5. In regards to the first example, the idea that Europeans colonized other nations is merely one narrative. We can’t really perceive actual truth. Another narrative might say that non-Europeans actually colonized Europe. All narratives are equally valid!

  6. Pingback: How to Speak Post-modern | Notes from Mere O

  7. Pingback: ¿Cómo hablar y escribir en posmoderno? | blog indieo

  8. Indeed, the furtherest away you can get from post-modernist blabber is the FOX News plain english “is it good or bad?” approach. Or to put it in post-modern-speak: FOX exemplifies the pinnacle of modernist rationalistic discourse based on binary oppositions and absolutie certaianty.
    Nah, I’d rather stick to somwhat insghtful goblydegook than go for plain english that evryone can understand but carries no information (except about the speaker once you engage it as self-reflexive discourse [see there I go again--post-modern bracketing--can't help myself]).
    Sure, expressing deep toughts in simple straightforward language is certainly possible. But those who master that skill end up being rememberd through history as ‘great thinkers’, a category which, by that metric, would have to exclude the likes of Kant and Gödel.

  9. Pingback: Links 14 – 8/11/13 | Alastair's Adversaria

  10. There was a moment, towards the end of the 90s, when intellectuals went from intimidating the public with a thesaurus, to pandering to its narcissism with crass populism. To defend culture they started to say which books one should not read and in defense of intellectual integrity they used strawmen and ad-hominems. One would think that it’s a strange tactic to defend scholarship with what seems actually its opposite, until one realizes that this was all a way to please those who never read a book in their life and who in their insecurity always harbored the suspicion that those haughty intellectuals were actually dumber than them.

    If the critics of postmodernity showed us anything is that a clear and direct style will hardly free us from idiocy nor make us capable of recognizing better mediocre scholarship. On the contrary this standardization of style brought forward a consistent lack of sophistication in thought. A stiffer language, with a poorer vocabulary, is showing itself more and more inadequate to express subtlety and ironically in its crassness it’s more vague than ever.

  11. Sure, the language employed by philosophers was so plain and simple for 2500 years, Just look at Aristotle, Aquinas, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hegel,, hell, even Wittgenstein. All just clear as day. Then some silly guys came “out of nowhere”, with their big words and thought-provokiness and messed it all up. Who are they to play with the limits of language and thought?, Or, worse, even philosophy itself! Ah, if only we could return to those good ol’ days..silly post-moderns..

    • Straw man. And obviously egregiously misinformed. You mention three of the most lucid philosophical writers in history. It is the thought of Aristotle, Spinoza, and Wittgenstein that is challenging, not their prose. And they never multiply jargon needlessly, and eschew it altogether wherever possible.

  12. Pingback: How to speak and write postmodern – Triscent

  13. I do prefer some prefixes over others at times though, and an important political debate can ensue. So, eg, I prefer interculturalism to multiculturalism. The former suggests that individuals are able to adapt to and include a whole range of cultural histories and practices which may not have been part of their immediate mother-tongue/cultural beginnings in a positively chameleon-like fashion. Multi-culturalism suggests a liberal pick ‘n mix of potentially equally valid histories and practices which often entrap liberal thinkers into uncritical defence of the indefensible – female circumcision, smacking kids, homophobic violence, capital punishment – just because they appear to be from an ‘other’ culture. I would have to add I guess that as a Marxist I prioritise class as the predominant ideological, social and political segregation within which gender or ethnicity or sexuality or disability are refracted.

    • Well that is foolish. As a post-neoMarxian, it’s clear that class is reflected through gender, which is then refracted back through society, creating the post-ideological illusion (veil) of class, when it is in fact the genderisation of Otherness which accounts for the segregation of Other from AnOther. Until the term ‘woman’ is replaced with gender-differentiated-socially-equal-hominid oppression will remain endemic!

  14. In case anybody wants to go retro

    “We should listen to the views of people outside of Western society in order to learn about the cultural biases that affect us”

    ye olde western society, listen to others so that thou followst the good path.

    • I have enjoyed reading these views. I have just published VOICES FROM THE AAPRAVASI GHAT-INDENTURED IMAGINARIES, published this month by the Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund, Mauritius, which is a site of World Heritage (Unesco). In the voices in limbo giving other tones to the narrative of the coolie or indeture, through the poetics of Coolitude, I have recourse to mock postcolonial/postmodern discourses. I found your views so heartening… THANK YOU FOR THIS ! I like this possiblity to use theories and their jargon in a creative way as well… Khal Torabuly

  15. Couldn’t resist sharing this gem:
    ” … the in-choate in-fans ab-original para-subject cannot be theorised as functionally completely frozen in a world where teleology is schematised into geo-graphy.”
    — Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
    You said it, sister!

  16. Pingback: Thank you Madiba for changing all the rules | Nic Spaull

  17. Pingback: The trouble with Twitter feminism | Feminist Current

  18. Wonderful, although it gave me flashbacks from when I had to read this sort of nonsensical, jargon-riddle gabbledegook‎ for my MFA degree. I muscled through and now I draw things that look like things and get paid money for them because other people value them; without having to concoct a whole lot of bullshit to justify my artwork. It’s a life.

  19. Pingback: Weekly Chāāt: February 1st, 2014 | Tanqeed

  20. Reblogged this on I eat sacred cows. They make the best hamburger! and commented:
    “My ex was fluent in this, even though if you decoded the language, the statement was absolute hogwash.

    Rather than saying, “I think I am superior to you because I am a man,” he might say shit like, “Your subjective interpretation of constructed realities doesn’t automate a concrete condition that is congruent with the alternative experiences of male persons, and thus you might want to rethink that babe, because it takes a lot of background in this subject matter to be able to analyze the dialectic with all variables in consideration.” (in other words: shut up stupid bitch and listen to men, those qualified to give opinions)

    Immediately after, “See, now you’re raising your voice, which only proves me point.”

    Damn right I am asshole, and wait until I find something to throw at you!” – Roak

  21. And in the above responses, exactly the type of loaded language that the author pokes fun at. As J D Salinger wrote in The Catcher in the Rye, “It’s funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they’ll do practically anything you want them to.” I’ll take parsimony over jargon for the sake of jargon any day of the week and I appreciate Ms. Katz facetious take on something that happens all too often in academia.

  22. Pingback: How to Speak Postmodern

  23. Pingback: another note on writing | Object-Oriented Philosophy

  24. I appreciated Stephen Katz’s translations of thick terms, but I don’t know that everyone who uses these words is guilty of obfuscation. When the Anglo Saxon thinkers began using Latinates, similar accusations may have been made, but then again there really may be something ridiculous going-on nowadays. Ivory towers are just asking for Viking raids it seems. This kind of disputatsio on the field of language seems to be whence come new ideas. Stephen Katz’s critique of language may be indicating a complacency of expectation about how to write smartly, which would allow for prejudice against those of us who don’t feel comfortable with the new Latin of Marxism (is that the underlying critique in Katz’s piece?). Is “postmodernism” a postmodern word for Marxism? Is that what Katz is alluding to? He may be right. I don’t follow trends on the popularity of ‘the schools.’ I enjoyed Katz’s examples immensely, but they also came from Katz himself. Maybe the linguistic parsing should be applied to rebuttals of specific abuses, for as David MacLeish describes in his response, there are going to be abuses. Whatever is going on, I have learned a lot more about language having read Katz and the comments to his good work.

  25. The article and especially the comment thread are very entertaining. But my initial reaction was “this is so ’90s.” Are there really places and journals that continue to be inundated with this flavor of academic/bohemian balderdash? (Incidentally, I speak “theory,” which was what we tended to call everything in this discourse family in grad school.)

  26. Pingback: The Weekly Gnuz & Lynx Roundup: 2014/03/02 | The Call of Troythulu

  27. Pingback: ¿Cómo hablar y escribir en posmoderno? | ZONA LIBRE RADIO 1

  28. This is so stupid lol.

    Something tells me you’re a young, white, libertarian objectivist who actually thinks that art isn’t subjective. Fuckin pleb, get a damn girlfriend you virgin.

    Post Modernism is the best philosophy we have no, and I’m typing in such a manner that reflects it’s language. Can’t handle it? Buy a dictionary, you illiterate fool.

  29. Pingback: How to speak and write post-modern | In the Ravine

  30. Pingback: Una guía rápida para hablar y escribir postmoderno / Stephen Katz | Sociología crítica

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s