Sunday, November 12, 2006

I May Be Prolix, But Is It Bollix?

Perhaps "90 years ago" would have been better than "Four score years ago and ten"

In the comments section of my last post, an anonymous commenter wrote:

Yawn, yawn, yawn - another verbose, opinionated and pointless rant from your incredibly high horse.

Fair play to anonymous; I'm always on the lookout for constructive feedback. I treat this blog as a scratch pad, so anonymous may have a point. Everything I post is a first draft, almost stream-of-conciousness thread and I do very little editing of myself. The trouble is how do I tell if anonymous's comment is a statement of opinion or fact? Luckily, there is such a thing as a verbosity index.

Therefore moving forward should any of my posts strike you as too wordy and in need of a little editing, you can check your instincts by using the following formula:

# of letters in the longest word in a sentence x # of words in said sentence / the square root of the smallest number of words that could have been used to convey the same concept (as defined by Washington State University's "Agribusiness: Do You Understand Economese?"

How "opinionated" and "pointless" my posts are, along with the height of my hypothetical horse, remain subjective conjectures however.*

(*That sentence is probably going to score me high, tant pis)

5 comments:

MsDee said...

Anonymous is just jealous that he/she can't right as intelligently as you can.

don't go changin' to try to please them.

weasel said...

Seriously, I'm not trying to pick a fight; usually the best feeback comes from those who don't like what you have to say.

Debbie said...

i wrote "right" instead of "write"
What a moron!

Rikki said...

I'm struggling to find good indexes for weighing the value of your opinionated-ness and pointlessness.

I find that when waste is at issue, it's good to use an example provided by the federal government (my: How topical!).

Ultimately, this comes down to your status as an expert in the art, dare I say "craft" of pointlessness.

To establish this, we apply the formula crafted by Justice Harry Blackmun in Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals:

As Justice Blackmun urged: Whether your "opinion will have a reliable basis in the knowledge and experience of (the) discipline" of Pointless Opinionizing.

Stated differently: Is what you say reliably pointless on its face, yet still relevant to your otherwise pointless themes?

1. Relevance? Do you raise your pointless opinions in a way that would pointlessly support or undercut your larger un-point?

2. Reliable? Have you constructed your pointless opinions upon a reliablly pointless foundation?

2a. Have your pointless claims been tested by those working in the field of pointlessness, such as lawyers and VCR repairmen? Could they be?

2b. Have your pointless opinions been made subject to peer review or publication in recognized pointless publications, such as the Internet, TV Guide, or the Weekly Standard?

2c. Does your method of Pointless Opinionizin' exhibit a high "known or potential rate of error"? Are there standards by which you could maintain predictability of such pointlessness in effort to control its operation in the marketplace of pointless ideas.

2d. Have your pointless opinions achieved any general measure of acceptance among others practicing in the field of pointless opinion issuance? (see "2a")

* 2d should not be considered the sine qua non when establishing your credibility as a pointless opinionator. After all, there are varying opinions as to what may be justly considered "pointless."

The process is what is important. Once we can dutifully establish that you have done the work - you've made your list, you've checked it twice - I suspect it will be difficult to challenge your authority as a pointless opinionmaker.

weasel said...

Right, that's it: I want to get sued just so I can ask you to act as my lawyer and boggle the minds of all involved.

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