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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Of Course

One of my stylistic tics is of course. This, for me, implies a certain intellectual attitude of: "Yes, sure I already know that, but let me tell you something else that is not self-evident." It is a metadiscursive sign of a certain kind of argument that I am favoring. There is nothing wrong, of course, with this style of arguing, but it is helpful to be aware of it, that that is what I am doing.

You can also smuggle in a question-begging assumption with an of course or needless to say.

1 comment:

Vance Maverick said...

"Of course" isn't terrible, but it's a bit un-classical -- it suggests the writer is slightly embarrassed to be saying something, because it's well known. But you shouldn't be, any more than Mozart was embarrassed to write a couple bars of boilerplate figuration and cadence when that's what was called for.