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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Though of course

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Warning: Muddled verbiage. Read slowly.

If you have followed my writings on this blog closely then you must have noticed my tendency to use “of course” in abundance. I don’t, though, use so much of it in conversation. “Of course”, of course, stands for “obviously” which suggests that I believe that what follows after “of course” must necessarily follow based on preceding statement and that this fact has been taken into account by astute reader. Yet, my need to mention specifically what must obviously follow for me — and if I am right then for you too — implies either that (1) I don’t trust at least one of you to ascertain that fact automatically, or that (2) I feel need to state the obvious which me as writer and you as reader anyway know.

If it’s former then either (1.1) use of “of course” is not valid completely since it’s not obvious to at least one of you as per my inherent assumption, or (1.2) I must be presumptuous for making that assumption and am indicating limitation in someone’s ability to comprehend written text. If it’s later, though, where I am repeating the obvious, then either (2.1) I am introducing redundancy in the text thus making it verbose and in process consuming more of my time, your time, electricity and internet real estate thus accelerating our way to global warning however marginally, or (2.2) I may have been repeating the text to emphasize point made earlier. Of course, assuming the later automatically implies that (2.2.1) I don’t trust you to understand text when written only once and feel need to elucidate more thus casting doubt on your general intelligence.

Of course, there is third reason as well, (3) which simply means that my written communication is improper and my use is grammatically incorrect. Clearly, there is no way I can get out this mess which my use of “of course” has shoved all of us into, though, of course, I never intended such.

Another thing that I’ve noticed and want to point out here is generous use of “though”, though, again not so much in oral communication. Use of “though” is much simpler to explain because it highlights impending twist in the thought process and indicates that next sentences goes contrary to just stated opinion notwithstanding any fact which just has been mentioned. This could be to (1) point out exceptions to the rule or to (2) rule out generation of possible follow-up thoughts in your mind based on presented statement which I don’t want to imply to concur with. While both are valid uses, I really need to find more synonyms for “though”.
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