Common Sense

Common sense seems to be pretty uncommon. And one place it seems fatal to look for it is in the groves of academe.

Last night and this morning I took something put together by a person with a ‘good’ academic background and fixed it. Many high-faluting words placed next to each other, in the hope (I suspect) of baffling the common man with all of that.

If I don’t KNOW the relationship that there should be between two objects/people/processes how can I say if it is correctly done or not?

If I don’t KNOW what are the steps in going from A to B, can I say they have been documented correctly?

Yet this is what was done. And I have seen it done over and over, in much the same way. One copying from the other, yet when you get down to it and ask them exactly what are they looking for, they flounder around, unable to answer.

It makes me mad that people sell themselves as an ‘expert’ yet have no working knowledge of the subject. Imagine an engineer planning a bridge, but that engineer has never seen a bridge, never walked / driven over one, never seen how the supports work, never played with a little suspension or two to get the feel. I’d be scared to use that. So should we be scared to use ‘experts’ who have never done the job, and those who have done the job, but never thought out how it is best done.

5 thoughts on “Common Sense

  1. I’ve dealt with people like that, it’s ‘paradigm shift’ placed all over a document to try and con the reader about the writer’s credentials. Bah humbug, hey?

  2. Sorry you had a bad experience, not sure if you are talking about editing for a living, or, just how or what you fixed, but, I’m happy you were able to straighten the whole mess out.
    Bless You

  3. One reason I decided against a career in academia is because of the pomposity of the writing on esoteric subjects with no practical application whatsoever.


  4. Oh the frustrations of dealing with ignorance/stupidity when it comes disguised as competence/consummate skill! Out of fear that I might perhaps be “found out,” I have always been afraid to present myself (at least in the business world) as anything but an rank beginner. It’s the old nightmare of finding yourself in the first grade, taking an exam, and not knowing a single answer that scares me.

    How on earth do people manage to get as far as they do and know so little about what they are doing? Chutzpah! Our son Adam is plagued in much the same manner as you in dealing with people more “senior” than he, and yet having virtually no ability to do the job they were hired to do!

    As Nancy says, “Ack!” To which I add, “AAAAAACCCK!”

    BTW, see my poem about “high-falutin'” vocabulary – something of which I am woefully guilty:

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