the language of groups

“Street gangs, sports clubs, political parties, families, people who for all kinds of reasons are regularly together, naturally develop a vernacular as a kind of bonding and those who want to join must learn it. Ideologues speak in language best understood by ideologues of like mind: it is called ‘preaching to the converted’; and it is probably a species of narcissism, like a budgerigar talking to itself in a mirror.”

Don Watson, “Death Sentence”, p.10

Watson’s writing made me think of the language that academics choose to use when discussing ideas. It is a language that tends to exclude and make understanding more difficult, although I suspect few of us would like to admit this.

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