Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Shadows of the mind

Horrible prose. I'm just on page 26, and I simply cannot see myself finishing this book. The content may be excellent, but if it's going to take me as much effort to even parse the sentences as to understand the deep logic behind them, sorry, no go. Here's a sample:
I shall need to start by describing some examples of classes of well-defined mathematical problems that -- in a sense I shall explain in a moment -- have no general computational solution.
Taken by itself, I agree that this is not so complicated, but if I were the editor, I would have insisted on something along the lines of
I'll need to start with some math problems that have no general computational solution.
There, that wasn't so hard, was it? Also notice how easier it is on the brain. You just have to let go of the irrational fear that some lawyer is going through the text with a magnifying glass, and is just waiting to trip you up because you said something which you didn't back up in the same fricken sentence.