At 01:19 PM 4/01/00 +0100, Eli wrote:
> nor shalt thou offend them with ostentatious incredulity.
Nyah nyah. Eliezer's always picking on me for using this common EdRegisian
rhetorical device. It's *mock*, *feigned* or *provisional* incredulity, of
course, and is intended to cosy up to the conventional reader before the
mandatory second stage of `but hang on, waaaait a minute, maybe this
apparent craziness isn't *quite* so loony *after* all...'
It's a gambit. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. Maybe it gets old quickly,
maybe you should keep using what seems to work.
I can tell you, though, as a writer in various public arenas for lo these
many decades: what causes most readers to smirk and flip the page is any
straight-up explicit announcement of the kinds of things Eli (and the rest
of us) take utterly for granted.
I'll stick with the pretended incredulity-plus-bait-&-switch-payoff for
now, although I'll try to cut back.
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