Language is part of methodology

It has been suggested by Latour that the use of exquisite language will trigger a more eloquent use of the text laboratory as a methodology. I want to argue that the use of simple language also facilitates certain explorations because it forces the writer to pose questions and find answers in a clear way. The lack of possible nuance is balanced by a quest for clarity. The writing in the text laboratory was done in English, while my native language is Dutch.

Because I wrote in English there was a greater distance between my words and myself. The way I express myself is less eloquent in English than in Dutch. So I had to say things in a more simple way. This exercise turned out to be useful. In 'technology talk' there is a lot of speculation and a lot of jargon. Also, because people speak about things that hardly exist, the suggestive capacity of words is stretched to its limits. A suggestive use of words is much harder for me to achieve in English than in Dutch. On the one hand, English was simpler to use since it is the language of technology and it was used in the events as well. On the other hand, it was harder, because I had to look for words and sentences longer than I would have in my own language. The distance, which the English language provided me in relation to my own text, was especially fruitful because I was writing about events in which I was involved. Because English is not my native language my choice of words is more limited, my understanding of grammar as a signifier of certain meaning is minimal. Therefore, the language that I used had to be simple. This forced me to formulate in an open, frank and bold way. Because this is an exploratory study, such a way of formulating can be appreciated. It makes the findings of my research accessible to non-scientists as well. Future opponents, from within academia as well as from outside academia, may be more easily triggered by this 'bold' formulation.