E-prime (was Hyper Cognitive Selectivity)

Lee Daniel Crocker (lcrocker@mercury.colossus.net)
Wed, 7 Jul 1999 17:04:20 -0700 (PDT)

> What do you think about the is of gerund, as in "he is walking"?
> How about the is of passivity? "The door was closed"?
> I've used e-prime for a while myself, but it seems a bit of an
> unnecessary hassle in at least the first case.
> Thoughts?

Not only are some uses of "be" perfectly clear and precise, but it's possible to be as murky and deceptive in E-prime as it is in plain English. It's an interesting observation that most uses of "be" in English obscure more than enlighten, and I often use that fact to tighten my prose by searching for them. But that's all it is--an interesting observation. To elevate that to the status of a new language, or to rely on a gimmick in place of real analysis, or to mangle prose to avoid "be" without good reason are all counterproductive.

ObLojbanPlug: Can't let a good language thread go by without a plug for my own pet subject: <http://www.lojban.org>.

Lee Daniel Crocker <lee@piclab.com> <http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC