Thursday, June 24, 2004


I have never spoken about this before.

I was silent out of fear of being thought insane, because it’s so obvious an observation that, well, if no one else was saying it, it must be because my perceptions are completely out of whack. It goes beyond asserting something such as “Proust sucks,” which may reveal one as simple but sane, I thought, all the way to the San Andreas Fault-shaky grounds of saying such things as “The writing on ‘Full House’ was genius, especially compared with that Proust crap.”

But I can be silent no more.

Here goes:

The phrase “in order to” is useless. I have never seen an instance in which it could not be simply “to.” For instance, “The first lady lies in order to make the president look ... stupid?” could be, instead, “The first lady lies to make the president look ... stupid?” or, even more economically, “The first lady is the undead.”

There. I’ve said it. I feel better. Perhaps soon I will discuss some of my favorite transitions: “Still,” “however” and, ugh, “For his part ...”

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