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Dear Editor,

I see that you changed “[this] may help you to see where each evangelist is coming from” to “[this] may help you to perceive where each writer is coming from”. The change from “evangelist” to “writer” makes good sense, but the change from “see” to “perceive” frightens and annoys me. “I see where you’re coming from” is a common English idiom, but if someone says, “I perceive where you’re coming from,” you should be instantly suspicious of what they’re up to. That’s just the sort of thing people say to distract from the fact that they don’t know what they’re talking about. Worse, “perceive” is a word that is weighed down by its (over)use in postmodern flimflam, mystic hipsterism and, let’s face it, sixties drug culture. In that sense it’s not a word I use, except pejoratively.

Most importantly, I just don’t like it. Chalk it up to irrational prejudice, but I just don’t like it.

Therefore I’d prefer to see the article read “see” there. If we are too close to press, so be it, but I hope you can see your way clear to change it back. If you’re still not convinced, go back and read this memo with “perceive” in place of “see” each time I use it. See what I mean?

Otherwise, stellar as usual.

Tongue planted firmly in cheek,
Cranky Writer

Apr 30, 2010 | Eli Evans | permalink | comment

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