Re: E-Prime (was Re: BOOKS: Recommendations)
Wed, 7 May 1997 00:01:19 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 5/6/97 3:22:27 PM, (Lee Daniel
Crocker) wrote:

>I think E-Prime fails to solve the problem, and even exacerbates it
>by making people think they can avoid fuzzy thinking by playing
>silly word-games with a broken language instead of doing actual work
>to think and communicate more clearly.

E-prime generally helps with clarity and honesty. It bars passive voice
(mistakes were made) and unsubstantiated generalizations (people are dumb).
You can certainly get around these obstacles, but at least e-prime makes you
think about actors, assertors, and evidence. When I write in e-prime, I tend
to have to mention actors, assertors and evidence, and that makes my writing
easier to understand and harder to misunderstand.

If you *want* to hide the actors, assertors, or evidence, you certainly can.
You often have to use expressions even harder to understand than the passive
voice you avoided in the first place. Still, using e-prime encourages zip
and clarity.