There is a certain class of writers that I observe with increasingly decreasing patience. They know who they are: pseudo-intellects that insist on European spellings (see “behaviours”), constantly talk about art as if they created the idea, and drop names of people no one casually hears about. They speak as though reading from a thesaurus, and you can hear their snobbish, East-coast, nasal whining through their writing. They talk casually about architecture in a way that no one should casually talk about architecture. They know and think way too much about wine. Everything is chic or passé and, of course, they are the authority on EVERYTHING.
What or who has instigated this tirade, you might ask? What brought on this particular disloyal rant of defiance? (disloyal because I, too, am a writer, that on occasion refers to a thesaurus, I will confess; but that does not make me one of them). I wish I could say. I wish I could narrow it down to one particular author, one particular incidence. But I can’t. Just once, I would like to read something by someone smart, only they don’t know they’re smart, or, at the very least, they are not encumbered by it. You know?
Does anyone know what I am talking about? It is like they have a learning disability, only it as an intellectual disability. They are disabled by their learning and smugness. It is too much.
I’m not just making this up. It is an evidence based practice. Or evidence-based (these insistent intellectuals heart their hyphens: “-” = L-O-V-E). You don’t need a degree from a national training institute to be annoyed by this. If you can read, you have a right to be angry.
For example, the other day I was reading this book about a man and his dog. Salt of the earth stuff, right? But then he used the word “flaneuse.” As though in total passing. As if this is a word we have all been using casually since middle school (or is it “middle-school”? or “middleschool”? I’m sure this guy would have an opinion. And of course he would be right; they always are). Just a couple pages later, he references, super casual, almost as an aside, Gene Krupa (whoever that is). Not that s/he isn’t important, or even not a household name (depending on the house). But the way the author just casually threw about these huge words and casual artsy/worldly/wordy references. It is just so presumptuous. And calculated in its casualness. How much is one supposed to stomach?
(Later he referred to “ofsted,” as if I was supposed to know what that meant or was. I could have looked it up, I suppose. Instead I threw the entire book out the window in disgust).
I wouldn’t call this a personality disorder or a psychiatric disorder per se (or “per se,” these guys always love their italics), but enough, as they say, is enough. The writing is on the wall. They must be stopped. Time for remedial measures, even if it requires some thinking outside the box.
Who is with me?