[ExI] Kripke is in trouble!
anders at aleph.se
Wed May 8 21:08:35 UTC 2013
On 08/05/2013 18:02, Gordon wrote:
> Interesting. Dennett's observation about "surely" in turn reminds me
> of some sage advice given me by a retired English professor and
> personal friend of mine. In his view, all sentence adverbs should be
> The author Stephen King takes it a step further, advising his fellow
> writers to avoid not only sentence adverbs, but all adverbs. In his
> view, similar to Dennett's observation about "surely," adverbs are
> almost always evidence of laziness in thinking and writing.
They have a point. It is surprising how much better text reads when you
avoid overexplaining things. If you need extra words to get your point
across, maybe your core words are not the right ones. In fact, it is a
great exercise to try to even avoid adjectives - think of Lovecraft: his
adjectives rarely explain anything. You will feel like Hemingway when
you get it right.
One useful piece of advice I got in an undergrad writing course was to
search for 'quite' once you have finished the text. Then just delete them.
Ob transhumanism: training oneself in using language well seems to be
one of those everyday skills that really improves one's life chances. It
is not just about being suitably grammatical or writing good prose, but
also things like being able to churn out text as needed - getting used
to writing things seems to be a core skill for not just authors but most
professions... including professional influencers.
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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