“It will be argued here that there are merits in considering the Reformation not merely as a movement that extended forwards into the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but also as one umbilically linked with impulses rooted in the preceding period.”
The Reformation of the Landscape – Alexandra Walsham
I’m looking forward to reading this book, but this sort of academic writing makes me scream. I think some of he stuff that annoys me – the This Study Will stuff for instance – probably has good motivations to do with setting out your stall clearly. It doesn’t feel a particularly natural way to do it though and makes me cringe away from the page.
The adverbial stuff feels more pernicious though, trying to sneak in assumptions behind the verbs doing the logical work of the argument. At the very least they feel redundant. (A model is “firmly embraced” in the previous paragraph. A theoretical model that is, not a clothes one).
Not particularly pernicious tautologies like ‘extended forwards into the late 17th and 18th Centuries’ do something to undermine your trust in the writer, or at least create an unwelcome noise and a feeling that you are listening to the inherited cadences of academia rather than fresh thought. That may well not be true, and the substance of this particular book looks very interesting, but mental alertness is needed in order not to be lulled by the tones of its institutionalised writing styles.