I absolutely loathe writing academic papers.
Don’t mistake me–academia is pretty awesome, and I do love learning about ancient Greece. The only thing I love more than learning about ancient Greece is writing about ancient Greece. Writing is awesome, and it’s probably good for your wrists in small dosages. I mean, you don’t want weak wrists, do you?
What isn’t awesome, though, is having to sound stuffy and formal.
My normal voice: One time a lady called me ma’am over the telephone even though I’m a guy. And by one time, I mean every time I use the phone.
My academic paper voice: People sometimes mistake effeminate males for females when discoursing over the telephone. The author of this paper once cried in a bathtub for three hours after someone called him ma’am over the phone.
Of course, that’s not actually my academic stiff voice. Because I don’t have one. Maybe I used to, but I put it in my pants at one point and ran it through the laundry and now it’s ruined. No matter what I do I awesomify it! I awesomify everything. I even awesomified awesome by turning it into a verb. You’re welcome, America.
More than my general inability to write formally, however, I guess I’m more bothered by the notion of academic writing. You have your voice, carefully developed and embedded into your well-worn fingertips, and now someone is telling you to change. That, suddenly, this magical thing that you’ve been trying to create your entire life has to be thrown into the garbage because you can’t use rockin’ in academia, or because your sentences are too long and clause-y and that you have this weird tendency to change nouns into adjectives by adding the suffix -y to them. It really creams my corn.