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.

0 thoughts on “On Noonan and Writing

  1. Lloyd

    Yup. I’ve always thought Noonan a bit of a lightweight. Spot-on article.

    Incidentally, “tossing” is technically a present participle or gerund. ;-) Have to note that grammatical nicety in honor of William Safire, RIP, one of my favorite columnists of all time.

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