Monday, November 28, 2011

What is this called? Stammering in print?

I was looking through a very dull book which I found could hold my attention if I just wrote down useless, parenthetical type phrases. Eventually, I could find one or two sentences that contained the core of the author's intention. The following is from ONE paragraph on page 185 of The freedom of a Christian, Chapter heading, "Why Remember."

Perhaps, therefore,
--though there is something to be said for that--
but, rather,
to be sure
perhaps, . . . or perhaps
but, in any case,
--in which, presumably--
at any rate
The few paragraphs leading up to this indecisive stew contain the phrases:
Clearly, the question is actually. . .
Whatever we may think of . . .
though, as we shall see
but it is clear
Or, to take a very different sort of. . .
nevertheless, we can think of instances
granting that these people should
perhaps we could argue
and, as it were,
and, more important still,
we have to ask
perhaps, therefore,
even granting that, however,
Quite often, to be sure,
--though there is something to that--
at least in part
Or, perhaps better,
it is not fitting, therefore,
if, on the contrary,
perhaps, in so doing,
Whew! Don't you just start looking for a buzz saw or hay mower?

This particular chapter first appeared in First Things, no. 135 August/Sept. 2003, pp. 20-24.

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