NationStates Jolt Archive

rewording UN resolutions

08-10-2003, 14:08
University standards permit the use of large words in all submitted work, providing they are used in the right context. It appears to me, as a Phd student that most people who attempt to propose resolutions fail to understand the context in which their words are placed. :shock:

Newspapers, television, internet and other print/audio/visual media all attempt to write at a level at which the 'masses' in this culture-industrialised society can understand, ie. the 12yr old approach. And whilst I understand the need for strict wording in many resolutions, it must be understood that not all participants in this simulation are academics or study a discipline in which these types of words are mentioned.

However, many terms used in the resolutions seem unnnecessary and appear only there to re-affirm an issue or point which has been stated many times before; this takes up word space and tends to detract from the making of other, more important points.

The use of certain terms, (of which I am sure the proposer is not often familiar with themselves) and sentence structures are often unneccessary and I hereby state that the terminology used in many resolutions be shortened and more direct. The use of larger, unneccessary words detract from the main arguments. And remember, the larger the word, and the more often points are re-affirmated, the more open to interpritation they are. They are also more open to critisism and rebuttal.
UN resolutions, although large in practice, are rarely open to interpritation (unlike constitutions in which high-court judges have the right to interprit these laws/guidelines).

So please, when wording a proposal (I understand these take time, effort and a lot of genuine thought goes into these), please take into account the less educated (in symantics) players. Otherwise you are excluding the 'others' in society who deserve the right to vote in an issue they understand clearly.


Raymondville :D
Oppressed Possums
08-10-2003, 14:21
You have to understand your audience.

We could all be 12 year olds...
Oppressed Possums
12-10-2003, 00:20
No, typically, the shorter it is, the more ambiguous it becomes.
12-10-2003, 00:55
There is a test called the "Fog Index"; I don't know how it's calculated, but reviewers total up the words of more than three syllables and the sentences of more than 33 words and score the results. Usually the (high scoring) verbose stuff is both pompous and empty; when simplified, it says next to nothing. This goes on in academics and government all the time.
I had a teacher who told me that if I couldn't state my great ideas in words of three syllables or less, and in short transitive sentences, I did not really have any great ideas. He was right.