Daily Archives: September 28, 2009

On Noonan and Writing

I really loved this piece, “Professor Noonan? No Thanks,” attacking Noonan’s writing style.

I particularly enjoyed this paragraph:

Of course, Noonan has spent her career demonstrating that this distrust and disrespect are well-earned. Her writing traffics in the prosaic and the vague. She does not get to the point. Instead, she hovers above the point, looking down in a manner that is supposed to be magisterial and dignified. She sighs softly, clucks her tongue, and tosses words in the general direction of ideas.

That last sentence is gorgeous. It’s a refreshing way to express the idea that her writing is weak. The verb “tossing” is key. I just can feel how weak and absent passion her prose would be.