Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Please, enough with the Megan McArdle

Megan has another plea for the internet, as shown in her the title of her article ... uh... titled "Please, enough with the metaphors." Quoth the Megan:

If you cannot explain in clear English exactly what all the salient questions and facts are about the bailout, then please do not attempt to convince others that it is best understood in terms of Dirty Harry movies or the time your Aunt Mavis lost her car keys in the garbage disposal.
Which is funny enough in and off itself, Megan lecturing others on using plain English. Even funnier, though, is to take a look at a previous post of her in which she claims that "Aesop described the problem rather well." How did he describe the problem, you ask? Why, by using plain English of course! Here, let me show you:
Once upon a time all the Mice met together in Council, and discussed the best means of securing themselves against the attacks of the cat. After several suggestions had been debated, a Mouse of some standing and experience got up and said, "I think I have hit upon a plan which will ensure our safety in the future, provided you approve and carry it out. It is that we should fasten a bell round the neck of our enemy the cat, which will by its tinkling warn us of her approach." This proposal was warmly applauded, and it had been already decided to adopt it, when an old Mouse got upon his feet and said, "I agree with you all that the plan before us is an admirable one: but may I ask who is going to bell the cat?"
See, he used plain English to write an analogy! That's what more writers should be doing! None of this metaphors and analogy crap. Let's stick to the metaphors and analogies only, please.

Of course, I may be being hard on Megan. After all, she's written lots of blog posts. Perhaps when she penned the most recent one, she'd forgotten about the earlier one in which she lauded a metaphor. That's understandable, as the posts were separated by one entire other blog post and were written a ridiculously long 19 hours apart from each other. Who can think back all the way to last evening? Totally understandable, her mistake was.


brad said...

I don't think that Megan directly quoted Aesop. His Fables survive in no small part because they are wise and well written. That's most likely either her own butchered version or some summary she found on Conservapedia.

NutellaonToast said...

She seems to have found it from books.google.com.

I have never heard of this service. It is kind of awesome, actually.

I think that it's legit though. Seems Aesop had a thing for animals.

brad said...

Bad translation, then.
My point is the Fables have survived in no small part because they're highly readable and easy to transmit.