I think the smarter thing to say is that in many tight, insular communities—where membership is partly based on intelligence, proficiency and being able to speak the language of the discipline—pieces of writing become as much or more about presenting one’s own qualifications for inclusion in the group than transmission of meaning. And that’s how in disciplines like academia—or, I’ve read some really good legal prose, but when it’s really, really horrible (IRS Code stuff)—I think that very often it stems from insecurity and that people feel that unless they can mimic the particular jargon and style of their peers, they won’t be taken seriously and their ideas won’t be taken seriously. It’s a guess.More of that sort of thing in "Quack This Way: David Foster Wallace & Bryan A. Garner Talk Language and Writing," a newly published book.
December 6, 2013
"... and like many stupid people, they associate complexity with intelligence. And therefore they get brainwashed into making their stuff more complicated than it needs to be," said David Foster Wallace in an old interview.