Today, I will write for myself. I’ll write how I want to write: long sentences and big words. Sesquipedelian. This effort is all to rediscover the power of the vernacular my parents gave me, a gift as invaluable as power itself.
My mission to become more accessible to whoever might read my work led to profound confusion. A state of confusion and doubt in which I fear losing an audience of people I don’t know. The problem, perhaps, isn’t that those reading my professions don’t understand what I say, but that other edifices of governance assume what most people should understand.
If, as I’ve said before, a sentence of twenty words is difficult to read for the general public, our problems as a collective are direr than we imagine. And if, furthermore, language is as powerful an instrument as the sciences of linguistics and neuroscience show it to be, we need not worry about advanced political systems as we should about primary education.
And the conditional questions are many. Why are these edifices of governance dictating how we should structure our language? Notice, if you will, that google subjugates mostly proper syntax and extensive vocabularies. Other popular text editors relegate valid ancillary words to obscurity by labelling them as archaic or informal. We now live in a society where adjectives do not conform to their comparative and superlative forms, and adverbs are something of a strange nature.
Yes, funner is a word, and you don’t misspell words by accident; you either don’t care or do it accidentally.
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Ask yourself that question again. Why are you forced to change your sentence structure – to betray the true extent of your vernacular – to comply with the lowest common denominator? And once again: why don’t you care that you are blithely willing to conform?
Here, and running the risk of appearing to surrender my critical faculties to conspiratorial thinking, I submit that thinking is the target—your thinking in this case.
Your language reflects and is the direct result of your thinking. If the Whorf hypothesis, the notion of linguistic relativism, is adequate even to a small degree, your language is your access to reality.
Do not give it up. Much more on this later.
— Peyton Dracco, for The Devil Unbound.