Putting Paid to the Lie

February 19, 2006

Well, let’s set that Baleful Blogroll to rolling then, shall we?

Helge Fauskanger has now twice claimed on the Elfling list to have paid twice for Vinyar Tengwar 48 — the first time qualified with “in a sense”, and the second without qualification: often is half truth made into received “fact” by such rhetorical sleight of hand.

Of course, there is no sense in which Helge has paid twice. Sending a check that cannot be cashed, and then only later actually paying, is in fact paying exactly once. Thus, for example, if I send my mortgage company an invalid check, and then replace it with a valid one, I don’t think they’ll agree that I paid my mortgage twice, in any sense.

But that’s rhetoric for you. It sounds impressive and important, until you look at its substance, and find that it is nothing more than an airy confection.