E-Prime

I define E-Prime as a variant of English in which one avoids the use of the word ‘is’ and all its conjugations.

I find that E-Prime helps me to clarify my thinking. It grounds me in the use of verbs and helps me to speak from my own experience and perspective.

E-Prime helps me avoid thoughts that I consider errors. Some examples may illuminate this.

“A photon is a particle and a wave” → “A photon acts like a particle when observed one way, and acts like a wave when observed another way”

“He is Asian” → “He looks Asian to me”

“I am sad” → “I feel sad”

These days I no longer use automated tooling to enforce the usage of E-Prime. I find it mostly habitual to choose strong verbs that convey my meaning rather than falling prey to the copula.

From a past incarnation

In 2014 I resolve to do all my writing in E-Prime. I will not necessarily go back and revise all my old writing in E-Prime, however I do believe that E-Prime will assist me in thinking more clearly. Several of my favorite thinkers such as Robert Anton Wilson and Alfred Korzybski have advocated E-Prime in books I have read, and I found their writing styles clear and lucid. Therefore, I too have decided that I will avoid the use of the copula in my English writing.

I have implemented in my Wiki a new feature that highlights all usages of restricted words in E-Prime. I will do all my writing in my Wiki, so that I can use it to avoid the copula.