A lot of bloggers have been having fun with Noam Chomsky's new blog; so much so that his comments sections were absolutely flooded and they've already been turned off. I wasn't one of those harrassing the man - I've got a lot more on my mind these days - but I just popped in there and the first post I saw was from yesterday (his archives appear to be hosed, but the date would be March 26 2004.) And in the first three sentences, he belched up a perfect illustration of why his writing makes my brain bleed. Putting aside his unbelievably incoherent and morally indefensible semblences of political thought, the man is just flat-out a terrible writer. Check this out, the second and third sentences from his March 26, 2004 entry:
Monbiot radically misinterprets the Hippocratic principle, "First, do no harm." According to Monbiot's interpretation, a doctor violates the Hippocratic oath by giving someone an injection, because the puncture harms the skin. No one has ever interpreted the Hippocratic oath that way.
No one has ever interpreted the Hippocratic oath that way, except for MONBIOT, as Chomsky himself stated just before he managed to contradict himself.
Maybe it's silly to get wound up about a case of sloppy writing. Goddens know my own writing can be terribly sloppy - but then, I'm not revered the world over by thousands of undergrads who are desperately looking for a way to piss off their parents. The point is, Chomsky's writing, wherever it is encountered, is overflowing with this kind of poorly constructed language - usually in support of a poorly (or worse) constructed argument. Why is this man worshipped by so many people?