Re: E-Prime

Subject: Re: E-Prime
From: Don M Chaffee <dchaffee -at- WORLD -dot- STD -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 1994 20:47:16 GMT

Jim Venis <ujv01 -at- mailhost -dot- unidata -dot- com> writes:

.... [stuff deleted]

>As for your suggestion about intelligence over abundance--well said! I
>couldn't agree more. But perhaps you will try E-Prime as a means to that
>end. Some suggestions I found helpful include:

>1. Refer to the basic "silent level" experience and describe the actual
>event. You can revise "I am fine" to "I feel fine."

>2. Bring your statement down to earth by removing hidden assumptions.
>You can revise "Linda is helpful" to "Linda helped me."

>3. Replace "is" with an action verb. You can revise "David is a doctor"
>to "David practices medicine."

>4. Say what you mean. You can revise "Is Lee there?" to "May I speak
>with Lee?"

>5. Change the sentence from passive to active voice. You can revise
>"Jack was blessed" to "The Pope blessed Jack."

>Please let me know if you try these and how they work for you. Let me
>know also if you find some other helpful ideas.

Jim: your example 4 reminds me of something my wise and dearly-beloved
sister told me when I was in High School, to wit:

Never ask a girl out by asking "whaddayadoonSatiddynite?" since it puts
her in a position of possibly having to lie if she doesn't want to go out
with you under any circumstances, or possibly missing out on something
fun if she does. Always say, "I'd like to take you to a movie Saturday,"
or "I'm going to the mud wrestling contest at the Centrum, wanna come?"

Actually, I'd modify your #4 to "This is Don. I'd like to speak with Lee,
please." But we're splitting hairs here, especially since we both know
that Lee isn't home.

Don Chaffee
Riparian Writes

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