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Academenglish, a Langcultural Barrier

February 25, 2006

Jan 28 1999,  to H-NEXA.

I left Academia for industrial activity more than 40 years ago. Naturally things have been and are changing all around all the time and most things are not what they used to be. Yet one specific striking change that I observe with fascination and disbelief and with sad amusement is the rise of langcultural barrier being formed around academia by means of academenglish.

I was reminded of it when I "read" the text of the ABSTRACT in this posting. There was a time when, and there are still places now were, even in and for academy written English was identical or similar to the spoken language.

But now barriers are rising between academic professionals and the rest of humanity. These barriers consist of a combination of verbiated English plus stretched/grotesque definitions of cultural phenomena.

Please read the (below) ABSTRACT and then ask yourself what, in plain English, does the abstractor want to say and I am sure that then you will ask why, then, he did not write just what he wanted to say…

In my opinion there is also a simple thing to say in plain English about the subject matter presented in the abstract, but this has more to do with langculture than with academenglish…


ABSTRACT: We propose a model to map the causal pathways relating biological evolution to cultural change. Building on conventional evolutionary theory, the model emphasises the capacity of organisms to modify sources of natural selection in their environment (niche construction); the evolutionary dynamic can also be broadened to incorporate ontogenetic and cultural processes, with phenotypes playing a much more active role in evolution. The model sheds light on hominid evolution, the evolution of culture, altruism and cooperation. Culture amplifies the capacity of human beings to modify sources of natural selection in their environments to the point where that capacity raises some new questions about the processes of human adaptation.


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