Re: (Fwd: *C&CD*) The main problem (*DIGEST*) (17 lines)

Hugh Stilley (
Thu, 26 Oct 1995 19:10:47 -0500

What, for goodness sakes, do you think the workaday writing of the world
does, except precisely that? Journalism, business correspondence,
*memoranda* and half the critical stuff in the world set out to "mean"
something that the "author" at the moment doesn't "feel sincerely," if by
sincerely you mean "passionately." Law, medicine, sermons, ... are not
immediately felt by most practitioners ... do you think. Sincerity vs.
getting some job done.

We do allow developing "articulators" some leeway, some freedom, some
time to discover what they at the moment sincerely think / would like to
think they'll live their lives by. Sociology, in truth, tells a different
story. Letters to the editor? What? One percent of the newsprint.
Probably the personals are sincere ... about something. And some of the
Hallmark cards, too, -- sent! personally! With affect!

Ron is stating a simple empirical truth that MUST be taken into account.
Directness in bus/tech writing is counselled in every text I've ever
seen. This directness cuts out "feeling" for the most part. Sincerity
isn't the issue. Accuracy, brevity, concision of statement is. Do you
think that someone writing a customer satisfaction letter at a major
manufacturing job is "sincere?" Sure, he/she/they want(s) to keep
his/her/their job(s). On Thu, 26 Oct 1995, J. Tornow wrote:

I'd like to congratulate Tornow. My chum, you've just written the
pithiest bus writing text ever. Put a cover on it, a few glossies with it
and take it to conferences. I tellya, you've stumbled onto the heart of
the matter.

I'm *not* being cynical, obstreporous, or troublesome ... sincerely.

> > > >
>On Wed, 25 Oct 1995, C_and_CD wrote: > >
> >> Ron Shook writes:
> >>
> >> In
> >> government work, we're often called upon to do professional-
> >> quality writing on subject matter that we hate, and are
> >> sometimes even called upon to write convincing arguments in
> >> favor of things we are strongly opposed to. It's just part
> >> of the job.
> >>
> >> John
> >
> >Could you expand on what you teach people about ethics?
> >
> >John<>
> I'm with John on this one. Otherwise, we might as well say to our students,
> "Be sincere even if you don't mean it."

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