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Tuesday, 11 November 2014


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How dare you tell me not to let that happen! I'll let it happen if I want to!


from the early days of the internets, it was always puzzling that "IMHO" or "IMO" had to be added for the benefit (mostly) of the American participants. what else but the poster's opinion could it be? I remember that Brits would laugh at this stance. oh, the early 90s...

the wording above about a contract is very spot on... amazing that it has to be stated, as it feels more like the warning in hair dryers about not using them in the tub (full of water, I presume).

[The phrase "I thought to myself" always strikes me the same way. Who else can you think to? --Mike]

So...do you really mean you think it'd be good for all of us to do this thing (not yet posted as I type this)? In that case it's appropriate to state it prescriptively, even knowing that we actually each get to choose. You do say that if you had the power you wouldn't use it (which is frequently the sane choice).

Lots of people seem to mean it more strongly when they state something imperatively, and some people have gotten sensitized to that I guess. I avoid it myself except, consciously for effect.

[I think I mean that it would be good for you to do if it appeals to you and inspires and excites you. Otherwise you won't do it and you probably shouldn't. --Mike]

I can't wait to see what happens next!

Be Prescriptive
Carry On


So how would it be objectionable for me to say "you must do this"?

I think it's because of the attitude of telling people what they should do rather than making a suggestion of what they could do. You most likely didn't mean it to be taken as an order but some people are sensitive to this in the same way that you are sensitive to personal criticism of others on this blog. It's not too much harder to say, "you could..." or "I think..." rather than making absolute statements, even if they are not meant to be taken literally.

I'll take a generic version of your Rx.

As the saying goes - I demand land rights for gay whales.

[That's a saying? --Mike]

“Actually, watching television and surfing the Internet are really excellent practice for being dead.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Damned

as deads cannot exert influence on pre-deads, I would not worry.

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