Good writing does have its place, I replied to the economist, but not in the press much anymore. Since journalism is driven by online readership (as opposed to print readership) the press needs people who can turn copy quickly and can write basically their entire piece in the first paragraph. Few readers get past that. Furthermore (I continued), revenue comes in the number of hits. There’s not much value in a reader staring at one page a long time, unless you can distract him with those ever changing graphic ads that lead you to another page, anyway. You’ll find good writing tucked away on obscure if beautifully written blogs that tend towards the literate and academic. As far as readers go they are in the backwaters of the web, but worth the search, if you’re so inclined. Which I am. But, like you, I also enjoy the occasional bit of academic writing myself. Not economics….Lord no, I get lost. Fascinated, but lost. But I have a weakness for linguistics. Still, I prefer my Chomsky in English so generally avoid the original and read one of his acolytes. Kind of like Joyce. One of the reasons that I was so excited about that upstart Daniel Everett was that he could write in English. Besides, if it weren’t for Daniel Everett I’d have no idea what a voiceless alveolar bilabially trilled affricate is. Though, to be honest, I still don’t know what a voiceless alveolar bilabially trilled affricate is, no matter how many times I listen to the damn MP3. Voiceless alveolar bilabially trilled affricate. In German that would be one word.
Sigh…I passed out on the couch hours ago after taking an allergy pill and now I woke up and it’s 3:30 in the morning and I just wrote voiceless alveolar bilabially trilled affricate three times. Four times.