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6. Communication > 52. Communicate in E-Prime

Communicate in E-Prime

Eliminate the verb “to be” from your communication to become less dogmatic. Easy to learn, hard to master.

Although almost anyone can speak dogmatically without using the verb “to be” and also speak calmly and rationally with it, many people have found that eliminating “to be” from their speech and writing makes it easier to communicate flexibly and nondogmatically.1

Alfred Korzybski, the founder of the discipline of general semantics, thought that the verb “to be” could lead to confused thought, confused action, and even fascism. Because so much of fascism consists of vilification of the enemy, and because so much of vilification of the enemy consists of calling them subhuman, identifying them with the forces of evil, and so on, fascists might find it hard to write propaganda without “to be.”


  

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