Letters to the Editor

On Readability

John Reilly | Jan 1, 2009

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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.”

—John Reilly
Mount Saint Mary College

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