Re: Reading ranting grunting.

Johnny Carwash (
Tue, 23 Sep 1997 23:55:54 -0400

>Long answer:
>"The untrained man reads a paper on natural science and thinks:
>`Now why couldn't he explain this in simple language.' He can't
>seem to realize that what he tried to read was the simplest
>possible language - for that subject matter. In fact, a great
>deal of natural philosophy is simply a process of linguistic
>simplification - an effort to invent languages in which half
>a page of equations can express an idea which could not be stated
>in less than a thousand pages of so-called `simple' language."
>(Thon Taddeo in _A Canticle for Leibowitz_ by Walter Miller, 1959)

I've had this same debate with many people. I've been accused of using big
words and expressing myself in a "complicated" manner, but in reality, I was
being as precise as possible. The question is, what's better, precision or
"easiness". If scientists related everything by metaphor, as the layman
seems to require, scientific writings would be far longer and *less*
precise, and no doubt harder to understand.