Re: clarification needed

Subject: Re: clarification needed
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2000 14:36:25 -0800

"Miller, Lisa" wrote:
> I would hate to think that I am fighting against a "language" evolution along
> the lines of the French language purists, but trully it is the sloppiness of
> thought that seems to be demonstrated in sloppy language that causes me the most
> concern.
> Sloppy (empty?) thinking (like Orwell's "Newspeak") reflects the thought
> process. When the thought process is compromised on what can we rely? If we
> take this line of thinking to it's extreme we may be seeing a reduction in our
> ability to resolve problems. If we can't "think through a problem" and,
> therefore, can't communicate it effectively, then conflict surely follows
> because confusion will reign.

Orwell also noted that one sign of sloppy thinking in writing was a
reliance on cliches and buzzwords. This has connotations for
marketing that I'm not sure that I want to explore, since I'm doing
a fair bit of it these days :-).

However, I would go one step further: in the absence of analytical
thought, people fall back on fashionable and pre-patterned thought.
When Tolkien described the Baggins family as being so conventional
that you could tell what one would think without the trouble of
asking, he was being satirical, but this degree of conformity seems
almost universal today. I've seen it among fundamentalists and the
politically correct alike.

Even some writers and academics seem to have this attitude. To me,
that shows a lack of integrity and pride, but they seem to laze
through life without being bothered by the fact. And, it probably is
easier to live that way. But I'm sure that it's not nearly as

(Says he, also waxing philosophical, but, in his case because he's
waiting to fall upon the next software release).

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7189 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"The squire has a piece of paper that says he owns the land,
The bishop has a bible that says our souls are damned,
Mackenzie had a printing press, it's soaking in the bay,
And if Mackenzie comes again, there will be hell to pay."
-Dennis Lee, "Mackenzie"

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