Which is a better opening sentence?
1) Humor augments pedagogy with asynchronous and synchronous elements to create a rich educational tapestry and enhanced instructional environment.
2) Humor makes learning fun.
Educators often write the unreadable, like the first sentence. They repeat a terrible writing habit learned during college – trying to impress or BS a professor.
Erudite communication may astonish the nobles, but it’s the quickest way to violate the first commandment of comedy:
Know your audience.
Humorists constantly rewrite their material to fit a specific audience. Most humor, especially classroom funny, must be easily digested. That’s why humorists typically follow the traditional journalism standard – write at a middle school level.
I use Word’s readability measure, the Flesch Reading Ease Formula, to ensure that I don’t sound like a Ph.D. and students can “get” my funny. I also rely on Grammarly – its preset settings help me tailor my writing to my audience.
Educators are often afraid of “dumbing down” their content. Writing like a Ph.D. may satisfy the APA style gods, yet it defeats the purpose of classroom humor – to make learning fun.