Talk:E-Prime

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Not enough criticism[edit]

Only one downside? Really? It seems like the whole article is praising it. We need to snark this up. Nihilist 19:52, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Snark isn't the same as criticism. In E-Prime, the main criticism is that the errors exist at a conceptual rather than linguistic level and there is the simple fact that other languages don't use "to be" in the same sense, even though native speakers still suffer the same problems. Further, some criticisms state that it's outright unnecessary. Yet, while all valid criticisms, most make the common mistake that E-Prime advocates want to change language completely, or want to fully eliminate words in some kind of pseudo-newsapeak way, rather than use it as a tool for clarification. I.e., E-Prime is a very specific but wide-reaching version of the rationalist taboo. No one would advocate speaking in it completely, but it has its well targeted places. Scarlet A.pnggnosticModerator 08:51, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
I incorporated your points into a new section explaining that E-prime is not an attempt by some Orwellian nerd cabal to constrain our speech and drive us all insane. The One They Call Mars (talk) 00:52, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
There are far better examples of Orwellian Nerd Cabals. And I am totally stealing that term for future use. Scarlet A.pngpostate 10:59, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Can see a number of ways around this.[edit]

"To be" is the most common copular verb, but "become" "get" etc work too.

So is there really much difference between the following in terms of whether I am expressing a fact or an opinion?

  • He was angry. He became angry. He got angry.
  • I was lost. I got lost.

We also use "to be" to form passives. But we an also use "got".

  • My leg was broken. My leg got broken.
  • I was thrown out of the pub. I got thrown out of the pub.

The "gots" work in informal spoken British English - I'm not sure about the US.

(Now I think about it some more it gives other problems to passives. Using this system I could say "The regulars threw me out of the pub and then the police arrested me. But I could not use the equally certain passive version "I was thrown out of the pub by the regulars and then I was arrested by the police." Of course I could use "got passives" instead.)

But my point is that, while this may work to remove some statements of personal certainty, it doesn't work to remove them all.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 19:13, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Here's another question: Under what mission point does this article fall? 'Cause it seems like Point 17: "Stuff some users think is cool, so they can cobble together an page about it." PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 19:33, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Didn't Martin Gardner devote a chapter to General Semantics in Facts and Fallacies in the Name of Science? He predictably concluded that this was moonshine, IIRC. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 21:04, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
I don' know but the more I think about it the worse it becomes. The article doesn't not mention that you would also lose a whole raft of continuous forms. "To be" plus "ing". It is changing, he was talking, we had been arguing, they will be leaving now, I would be doing something else if I wasn't dong this, your answer must be being written as we speak. The idea that such statements cannot makes sense unless they can be written is E-prime seems plainly fallacious.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 21:21, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
I've started adding more off-mission history of language crap. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 05:35, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
"The idea that such statements cannot makes sense unless they can be written is E-prime" - did you even read this? It's a thought experiment designed to make people think more critically about how they word things and whether what they're discussing is productive; i.e., endlessly arguing over "Star Wars is a shitty movie" when really they should be arguing over "I don't like Star Wars". That's all. It has nothing to do with things "making sense" or not. I certainly don't think it's strong Sapir-Whorf stuff, though. It's not arguing about how you change your thought patterns by altering the language, just about indicating where you might be using problematic short-cuts in your discussions or thinking. It's a method, not a way of life. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 11:17, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
This also has nothing to do with "to be" being a copula. So I'm not sure why the linguistics lesson is needed. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 11:23, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
SmoTlö seems to have a Thing about people, errrm, "policing" language and culture in general, so it's unsurprising that he (mis)read the article in such a way. I think that the copula bit is intended as a debunking.--ZooGuard (talk) 12:16, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Why has that pointless bit about it acting as a copula reappeared? It literally doesn't add anything because the function as copula isn't the point of this exercise. Yes, we get it, you know enough linguistics to name all the functional parts of a sentence, but there's less than a single sentence of relevant information there. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 22:15, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Not sure what your objection is. 'Copula' is simply the technical name in linguistics for the usage contested by E-Prime. The function as copula is the heart of the issue raised by E-Prime. The other copulas state opinion as fact without using to be. Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 22:54, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

This cannot stand![edit]

Worf doesn't operate the transporters!!!! He's CHIEF OF SECURITY. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 22:30, 8 February 2014 (UTC)