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Clearly not

Watching the news on the BBC frequently in the last few months means that - strangely enough - I regularly see British politicians interviewed. And this has led me to an increasing dislike of the adverb "clearly".

Inevitably, it's used in situations such as "as I have clearly said".

Firstly, we are none of us best-placed to judge the clarity of our own language use to others.

Secondly, if you have to tell other people you were being clear, you're being condescending. It's telling them they're too stupid or inattentive to have realized on their own how effective your communication was.

Until now, I'd never realized how insulting nominal clarity could be.

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Comments

naxos
Dec. 1st, 2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
The "clearly" thing happens far too much at work, where I agree that good communication is much lacking (don't start me on jargon and powerpoint).

As for the mathematical aspect, if a piece of symbolic is reasoning is truly clear then it follows trivially and any note to that effect is superfluous and best avoided I say!