Transition words

The logic of writing as you learned in school
Turns out to mean little more than an obsession with transition
And the scattering of rhetorical tics – overused, nearly meaningless words and phrases.

In fact.
On the one hand.
On the other hand.
In one respect.

These are logical indicators. Emphasizers. Intensifiers.
They insist upon logic whether it exists or not.
They often come first in the sentence,
Trying to steer the reader’s understanding from the front,
As if the reader were incapable of following a logical shift in the middle of a sentence,
As if the sentence had been written in the order the writer thought of the words,
Without any reconsideration.
These words take the reader’s head between their hands and force her to look where they want her to.
Imagine how obnoxious that is,
The persistence effort to predetermine and overgovern the reader’s response.

I have vivid memories of being coached to use more transition phrases in my final year of high school. I have used them in plenty in my posts over the years. So, Verlyn Klinkenborg’s admonitions hit home.

I hope to use fewer transition words going forward.