Lloyd said that my article 'Being Kenyan' lacked depth and this he wrote on my facebook wall. I agree with him. In trying to make the article simple, maybe I made it too simplistic. However, I think that is OK for a blog. I never intended for this space to be heavy for my readers or arduous for me; I want it to be light and easy, something someone can read quickly over a coffee break and have a laugh while doing so.
Once in a while though, I condense my ideas and display them in a rather intricate manner, and for that too, I get criticized, by Jacque to be precise. She pointed out that my 'Cum Laude' post would make no sense to anyone who did not have a PhD. Ernest went even further, and called to tell me that I now sound like professor so and so. I must have taken their censure very seriously, for the very next day, I tried to defend myself in 'Cum laude reloaded'. I failed miserably.
In fact, I think my posts have become rather tasteless as I attempt to please everyone. (You can confirm this in my Sunday post. My worst ever). I now find myself oscillating between extremes in search of that golden mean: the perfect balance between excess and deficiency. As we all know though, that is unattainable. There is no such thing as a perfect balance. I will have to lean on one side and take a stand. When I do that, I will have to then say to the Lloyds, Jacques and Ernests: 'Screw you! You are not the boss of me! Start your own blog!'
But, I will not say those nasty things to my good friends. I however, will kindly ask them to desist from giving me any more bad reviews, especially Ernest, whose house is a stone's through away from mine. I could literally throw a stone at him.
Having gotten that off my chest, I will share with you something cool I learnt yesterday. It is called the 'Gunning Fog index' which calculates for you how complicated your writing is. So if you say stuff like:
...Contemporary Kenyan cultural norms have evolved to embody an amalgamation of worldviews, both foreign and local, fused into a novel exhibition of an 'authentic' Kenyan identity; an identity referred to in this text as 'Kenyanese'...
The Gunning fog index will go ahead to tell you: 'that is such bull crap!' But not in those exact words. Being a calculator it will actually give you a number that tells you how hard to read your text is. This number or index will refer to the number of years of education one needs to understand your writing. I would demonstrate for you how that works but I am allergic to algorithms, which is what the Fog index uses.
I am now getting dangerously close to launching into an academic harangue. To avoid that, I stop right here. Cheers.
(Lloyd is a great writer by the way, I am honoured that he takes the time to read and critique my blog. Thank you Lloyd...and Jacque and Ernest).
Labels: critique, Peer review