Saturday, November 14, 2009

Like a cat with a wind-up mousie

A person could play with this random academic sentence generator (props to my FBF Deborah Green) all afternoon. The real challenge here is to generate a sentence that actually makes perfect sense: a sentence upon the meaning of which one could elaborate convincingly if challenged. The green one in particular is a perfectly reasonable thing to say.

The fiction of history as such functions as the conceptual frame for the discourse of print culture.

The emergence of civil society invests itself in the systemization of the public sphere.

The illusion of post-capitalist hegemony recapitulates the legitimation of agency.

The linguistic construction of normative value(s) asks to be read as the discourse of linguistic transparency.

The eroticization of the gaze functions as the conceptual frame for the authentication of the gendered body.

The (re)formation of praxis opens a space for the systemization of pedagogical institutions.

The emergence of pop culture recapitulates the fantasy of the specular economy.

Pounce claw toss batbatbat spraggle-upon-waggle pounce. Repeat 9,000 times.


Unknown said...

The real challenge here is to generate a sentence that actually makes perfect sense: a sentence upon the meaning of which one could elaborate convincingly if challenged.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Hardy har, oh beloved friend and former colleague. Indeed ('Indeed' is itself a classic, among academic sentence-openers; they should have put it in), one of the reasons I like this thing so much is that if one is careful enough in one's choices from the drop-down menus, one can come up with things one could have said, and indeed probably has said, oneself. I know it's supposed to be satire, but personally I am approaching it in the spirit of Saussurean linguistics with particular reference to the Prague school and the arbitrariness of the sign.

Unknown said...

Indeed, indeed, is a word I overuse: I'm editing my work at the moment and have my eyes out for it. Someone else pointed out my fondness for "deep" and its variants (I think I'm probably channelling C.S. Lewis's deeper magic, invoked by Aslan...).

I haven't even checked out the site yet, though I will, just to see why people hate academic writing so much. (Actually, I have a fair idea.)

By the way, I nearly didn't post my comment; and then nearly retracted it, fearing to offend. It was meant in tribute to your grammar, of course, and your masterful placement of the "upon". But oh dear, now I've gone and finished a sentence with it. Pesky prepositions.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Most of what I say these days is either pastiche, allusion, quotation or self-mockery, usually a queasy amalgam of two or more of those things. I can't decide whether this is postmodern or just postmenopausal.*

I would like to say 'deep' more often than I do, but must try harder to eschew 'vivid'. Brian Matthews and I compared academic-stylistic notes once and discovered a common tendency to over-use a sentence structure involving three consecutive adverbs, including a technically incorrect comma. We did this wilfully, knowingly, and perversely.

Brian had also taken a scunner against the 'not un-' construction, as I recall. 'A not ungrey cat was walking along a not unhigh fence on a not undark night ...'

*False dichotomy

Elisabeth said...

I find I use the word 'also' far too much and multiple variants thereof, 'as well as', 'furthermore', etc.

These to me are wasted words but I often need them in a first draft, if only for the rhythm.

M-H said...

Actually, there is a word I actually overuse too. I know go through my drafts and excise it brutally, as it actually annoys me when other people overuse it.

Deborah said...

The Wittgenstein Generator: keep on hitting reload to get more and more Wittgenstein.

Developed by the frighteningly clever Josh Parsons.

When we are talking about generators that almost make sense, why is it that the capcha seems to be a perfectly sensible word? Capcha: ration