The following sentence is from a 1996 Smithsonian magazine article written by David Roberts:
Then as now, the pastime was so arcane that it had its own vocabulary, opaque to outsiders, and its own esoteric codex of ethical behavior.
Think about it. What could Roberts have been describing? I don’t recall, so I’m going to do some research. I’ll post the answer in the comments section when I find it.
Actually, it doesn’t matter what Roberts was discussing. We all experience the exclusionary effects of jargon and are occasionally mystified by others’ justification for doing things the way they’ve always been done in their unfamiliar territory. It feels safer to be among the insiders, so if we really want to get past the barriers, we learn the standard operating procedures, the peculiar language, and the secret handshake.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to recall what we thought before we conformed, because language can have strange effects on our beliefs.
Some exceptionally talented and popular authors are appreciated for their ability to decipher the “esoteric codex” so the outsiders can understand the insiders. Which of these writers do you rely on and recommend to others?