In a good argument, a person states a conclusion clearly and then, with equal clarity, gives reasons for this conclusion. The arguments of everyday life of- ten fall short of this standard. Usually, unclear language is a sign of unclear thought. There are times, however, when people are intentionally unclear. They might use unclarity for poetic effect or to leave details to be decided later. But often their goal is to confuse others. This is called obfuscation.

Before we look at the various ways in which language can be unclear, a word of caution is needed: There is no such thing as absolute clarity. Whether something is clear or not depends on the context in which it occurs. A botanist does not use common vocabulary in describing and classifying plants. At the same time, it would usually be foolish for a person to use botanical terms in describing the appearance of her backyard. Aristotle said that it is the mark of an educated person not to expect more rigor than the subject matter will allow. Because clarity and rigor depend on context, it takes judgment and good sense to pitch an argument at the right level.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

and taste our undisputed quality.