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Instruments of Communication. An Essay on Scientific Writing by Patrick Meredith

By Patrick Meredith

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And the Encyclopaedia of Unified Science gallantly proclaimed by the survivors of the Vienna Circle nearly a quarter of a century ago is still only two volumes of controversy, not a unified system. 2] The one unity which cannot be gainsaid is the social unity that comes from attending conferences and being able to talk to one another. This is such a seemingly natural state of affairs that its deeper significance is apt to be missed. There are many countries, England among them, where it is virtually impossible for a group of strangers to conduct an intelligent conversation in a railway carriage, even though all speak English.

2] THE INHIBITION OF WRITING 19 soul-searing about being publicly pilloried for prose peccadilloes. And paradoxically it is just the little sins whose exposure is so humiliating. You can get away with great big categoreal, metaphysical, transcendental errors, for these, after all, are matters of controversy and whatever error you make you can always claim some good company in which you have sinned. But the little errors put you in a much bigger company. And this is the first great paradox of prose.

Stokoe gives no advice on such tactics. There are grammatical sins and he's agin 'em. This is one of the clearest and best-printed books on what I may call "evangelical grammar" of the period. I can strongly recommend it to those who want to know all the rituals. It even defies certain of the recommendations of the Report of the Joint Committee on Grammatical Terminology, showing that the very theologians of language fall out and thus raising the question — Who decides Othodoxy? There is no doubt that Mr.

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