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How Writing And Grammar Reflects A Society


Why is so much academic writing basically unreadable? Steven Pinker says the writers are cursed with too much knowledge. 

"They don't know that the jargon that is part of their little clubhouse and that they've grown up with since they were graduate students is not known to equally intelligent people who happen not to be academics in their field," Pinker says.

Pinker is a leading expert – maybe the leading expert - on the intersection between writing and cognitive science. He is also a professor of psychology at Harvard University and chair of the Usage Panel for the American Heritage Dictionary.  

Steven Pinker was in Milwaukee recently to talk about his new book, The Sense of Style: the Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Centuryat Boswell Book Company. He joined Lake Effect's Mitch Teich to talk about how the book tries to "get beyond the nonsense" of grammar and writing with the combined study of cognition.

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Audrey is a producer, host and reporter for Lake Effect. She is involved with every aspect of the show — from conducting interviews, editing audio, posting web stories and mixing the show together.