Comments on

The fixation on Erasmus isn't doing much for me either

Original entry posted: Thu Nov 10 04:17:39 2005

Johnny Pi @ Wed Nov 9 09:55:01 2005 EST

For some reason, Crawford's words sent me flashing back to the protagonist in 'A Confederacy of Dunces.'

Thomas @ Wed Nov 9 10:15:12 2005 EST

Good call.

belle @ Wed Nov 9 10:28:55 2005 EST

hey, did you get my e-mail?

Thomas @ Wed Nov 9 10:31:23 2005 EST

Nope. But I think my server's been a little screwy the last day or so. Re-send it to me?

belle @ Wed Nov 9 11:17:56 2005 EST

'twasn't a big deal, i was just asking where this entry went, because i saw it last night. that's all!

Thomas @ Wed Nov 9 11:24:19 2005 EST

I pulled it temporarily, and then Corvus asked me if I wanted to put it back up because he had linked to it. I looked it over and figured I might as well.

Still haven't gotten your e-mail, babe. Very strange.

belle @ Wed Nov 9 11:59:30 2005 EST

maybe it's gmail. they've been a bitch lately.

Josh @ Wed Nov 9 14:10:43 2005 EST

" On the question of how I think my vocabulary will be received, I figure that most people can recognize a great many more words than they use, and that most really will be able to figure out what "belabor" means, using the context and their own recollections. And if a reader doesn't recognize the word, then this would be an excellent stimulus to look it up. Everybody wins."

I've stumbled on guys like Crawford when I used to hit forums. Whenever the weight of someone's vocabulary outdoes their actual point, I just stop listening.

There's a point to using correct grammar and language when making an argument. However, when your argument is partially based on simply bludgeoning people with obtuse words and overly verbose sentences, it's not worth my time.

One someone is clearly foregoing a concise method of saying something just to sound more academic, they're clearly the kind of pretentious I don't have the energy to deal with these days.

Or to put it simply - bore me with your intentionally lofty words, and I ignore you. It's not that I don't understand you, it's that I chose to stop listening. Everybody wins.

Thomas @ Wed Nov 9 15:24:50 2005 EST

That's very true, and I certainly don't intend to give him any more space. But it did feel good to get that out of my system.

Blue @ Wed Nov 9 18:41:32 2005 EST

Heh. It may be arrogant of me to get a little shiver of glee each time Mr. Crawford speaks of my insult with wounded pride, but oh, it's turned what was a brief expression of rage into a kind of evil-but-oh-so-sweet candy. I think even his danying up of the phrase - I told him to "get fucked with a rusty spike" and not to have one "rammed up his anus" - is a microcosm of his reaction to EVERYTHING. And as I put it later - knowing 10,000 words does not make one pretentious, but trying to USE all of those words (and still failing to construct a proper argument) IS.

Delightful deconstruction. I applaud you heartily, sir.

(and as you pointed out, I am indeed NOT a dude.)


Bicoastal Eddie @ Wed Nov 9 18:52:34 2005 EST

I was the "critic" that supposedly abused him for his use of the word belabor. My criticism was that he was claiming that he was not going to belabor the point but had spent paragraphs doing exactly that. Leave it to that doofus to get even that part wrong. To quote Bugs Bunny, "What a maroon!"

Bicoastal Eddie @ Wed Nov 9 19:05:13 2005 EST

By the way, (I don't know if I've done this right) but here's a picture that I got from Chris' website that explains much, I believe.

Thomas @ Wed Nov 9 21:37:36 2005 EST

Blue: Take a round of applause yourself. It's amazing how you seem to have gotten under his skin.

Eddie: I went back and looked at the thread after posting this morning, and saw your 12 Labors of Dorkules. It seemed pretty clear to me what you meant. Maybe if you'd tossed Erasmus in there he would have paid closer attention.

That picture is evil.

Blue @ Wed Nov 9 22:35:10 2005 EST

"Blue: Take a round of applause yourself. It's amazing how you seem to have gotten under his skin."

And apparently also "up his anus"?

::evil laughter::

Sorry, I had to. Once again, excellent article. It will be shared amongst my fellows.

Natalie @ Wed Nov 9 23:17:39 2005 EST

YNot only did I get a shiver of satisfaction over your fisking of Crawford, reading your thoughts on writing was enjoyable to read as well.

Rosie @ Fri Nov 11 07:42:31 2005 EST

damn fine reply to a damn silly letter, Thomas. I got caught up in this whole thing overn on OGHC (there's a link to here now) and the things that amazes me is that darling Chris up there has totally failed to address the fact that what people (male and female alike) objected to was not him, or his style, or his language - they were all just points of irritation -

The thing that pissed us off was that he talked about people in terms of our ancient biological functions and, indirectly, made women sound like intuitive but essentially moronic wombs with a rabid desire for berry gathering and bodice rippers.

I haven't yet seen him address objections about his actual point. Only about the way he put it.

and JESUS is he dull!! LoL.
Does he think that the big english teacher in the sky gives him more 'you're a great guy!' points if he can crank up the obscure lexicon a couple of notches?

R. London

Greg P @ Sat Nov 12 17:38:15 2005 EST

As I scan Chris's writing, I see verbosity, but little of what it purports to be.
Typically, one would expect highly intelligent writing to contain more multisyllabic words (of which there are actually surprisingly few), and in general an economy of words (which there obviously is not).

Thomas @ Sat Nov 12 22:20:10 2005 EST

In case anyone is still reading this and wants to have an open mind about Chris's insane evolutionary psychology claims, I find that the word of an actual biologist carries somewhat more weight:

PZ Myers cites Stephen Jay Gould on EP

monkeysan @ Thu Dec 1 14:27:37 2005 EST

Can someone spare Crawford a copy of Strunk and White's? This guy's notion of elegance would positively doom science if anyone actually took it seriously.

peterb @ Thu Dec 1 20:37:04 2005 EST

OK, I'll own up to this, finally.

The "well-known game designer" who wrote the stupid essay referred to here:

was Crawford.

So "Crawford writes like a moron" is not exactly a newsflash.


Thomas @ Thu Dec 1 22:34:28 2005 EST


That's a great interview, and a hilarious example. He doesn't know the man who did Secret of Mana? Great Cthulhu's ghost.

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