Re: virus: MAIDS: YOU should not use the word IS

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Fri, 19 Sep 1997 16:59:36 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 19 Sep 1997, Tadeusz Niwinski wrote:

> The same quote from Eric for a diffrent reason:
> >A=A is only a model, and the map is never the terrain. One must be
> >prepared to abandon A=A if it gets falsified. But more than that,
> >actually, one of the first requirement of science and PCR is that the
> >statement to be analyzed must in principle *be* falsifiable. If it
> >ain't, it's either a "tautology" or an "axiom" -- and neither of those
> >are useful at all, for the first is *useless*, and the second is
> >assumption making. (are there any other possiblities besides these two,
> >and their combinations?)
> >
> >Another thing I'd like to mention, while I'm here: E-Prime. This
> >language modification kills the entire debate. "is" should no longer be
> >a part of English, as it misleads millions of otherwise smart people.
> How come the word "is" appears in your previous paragraph 6 times?

Good question, Tad. One would expect people who consider themselves
devoted to the value of E-Prime to use it in philosophical discussions if

I read the web pages to which Eric pointed, adn a couple others on
E-Prime, and intended to present here an E-Prime translation of the
paragraph in question. But I have been working on it with some
dedication, and confess myself stymied. I don't know whether this is a
failure in 1.) my personal understanding of the E-Prime mindset, 2.) the
logic of the paragraph in question, or 3.) the concept of E-Prime itself.
But whatever it is, I'm getting nowhere. Every time I think I've gotten
it, I find another "be" form in the middle of my reframed concept.

I'd find it much easier to translate it into Esperanto, which is probably
more likely to take the world by storm than this attempt to make everyone
stop using the word "is". "Is" is central to the way we think for a
reason. Even if E-Prime succeeded, and no one used "be" forms anymore, I
think the problem would only be taken one step back, with people "reading
through" the more cautious phrasings of E-Prime as simple "be" statements,
and ending up "thinking wrong" again.

I don't, however, debate the usefulness of questioning "is" usages when
disagreements and misunderstandings arise.