Oh those Qualifiers, They Get Me Every Time

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Michelle’s blog on Cappon’s chapter 1 and 2 made me reconsider the use of qualifiers.  I’m not going to deny it, I use them constantly.  I never realized I did until I came to Seton Hill and my roommates started teasing me about it.  They tell me I can’t phrase a sentence without sticking one in.  Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with this at least not in every day speech (there I go qualifying again ;-)).  I think there is a distinct difference between speech and writing.  For example, when I write a research paper and take some stance, I know better than to water down my arguments by throwing in qualifiers.  I don’t know if I would have unwittingly stuck qualifiers into a news article or not, I hope that I wouldn’t have, but then again news writing is different than an essay.  With so many different people reading an article, it’s hard to please everyone.  It would be easy to slip in a few qualifiers to cover one’s butt.  But, as Cappon clarifies, this really isn’t a good idea.  If you write an article and after every couple sentences add, “probably” or “perhaps,” you’re going to destroy your credibility and believability with your audience.  I know if I read an article full of “probablies,” I would believe very little of what it said.  So, if nothing else, I know I need to be aware of these little words which slip in oh so easily to one’s writing (and speech) and which make one less believable. 

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