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August 22, 2018


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Scott Pruitt Edndowed Chair in Environmental Justice

For few hundred bucks, I can become a Leading Super Lawyer. They put out a glossy publication with photos of smiling lawyers in suits I can't afford.

Nothing is really new here. It just sounds more sophisticated. If you take a look at any Popular Mechanics classifieds from the 50s-70s, one can become a real CRIME DETECTIVE, earn big money doing insurance adjusting, draw cars and become an automotive stylist, and my favorite, become a LAW TRAINED MAN.

The problem is "dumbification." If enough folks accept this stuff as true and real, it becomes legitimate. As Bill Maher said, the "reality show is now reality."


With these dubious appeals to publish in, or be on the editorial board of, dubious journals, I wonder which of the explanations I can think of I find more depressing. One explanation is that "international English" of this sort is now so common and accepted that it's not thought to be shameful, and so people just don't care. You can find stuff that's barely better English than this in proceedings from at least nominally reputable conferences published by large, commercially successful publishes, for example. The other justification is the one used to explain the obvious mistakes in Nigerian email scams, though it might be working both ways, with both those sending out the emails only wanting people foolish enough to accept such a message, and perhaps those accepting thinking that only people foolish enough to send such a message would accept their publication/editorial board membership. Neither explanation fills me with hope for the future.

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