From the Letters to the Editor column of the January 2009 issue of Perspectives on History
Letters to the Editor: On Readability
John Reilly, January 2009
Editor's Note: Perspectives on History welcomes letters to the editor on issues discussed in its pages or which are relevant to the profession. Letters should ideally be brief and should be sent to Letters to the Editor (or mailed to Letters to the Editor, Perspectives on History, AHA, 400 A Street SE, Washington, DC 20003-3889) along with full contact information. Letters selected for publication may be edited for style, length, and content. Publication of letters does not signify endorsement by the AHA of the views expressed by the authors, who alone are responsible for ensuring accuracy of the letters' contents. Institutional affiliations are provided only for identification purposes.
To the Editor:
On page 13 of the November 2008 issue of Perspectives on History there was a note about the Presidential Address.
I read the note several times, and asked my fellow historians whether they could translate what was written. After some discussion we felt that either we were illiterate or the writer was speaking to an audience in another profession, not history. As we all have PhDs, the former is not the case, but the latter is more accurate.
Although I am a Life Member, the others commented that this type of writing is a reason not to join the AHA. The organization and its publications are “unreadable.”
Mount Saint Mary College