Weasel words and other vagueness in writing

Is this topic not appropriate? Feel free to say so. It really might not be appropriate.

This topic is to collect weasel words and other nonsense. Let’s hope calling it out will reduce it, and reduce the need for active moderation.

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First example:

The prediction is based on mass estimates for an active pressurized air-beam able to resist high surge forces. This topic was discussed on the Old Forum, complete with predictions.

Sorry if the prediction seems only like “weasel-words” rather than an acceptable personal prediction by its author. Let anyone else make predictions without concern over weasel-words.

Yes, unfortunately “is predicted” is a weasel word, I think.

Change that to “I predict” and all is good with me.

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Go ahead and think “weasel words”.

The question then becomes: what do I do, since I think weasel words have no place here?

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You could worry that you might be mistaken.

That is a constant. So that is a given.

Its a properly testable hypothesis whether splinted airbeams by ram-air or blower-system is favored by mass, cost, etc… Let time decide whose predictions were right.

Yes ^.^

That’s not the topic of this thread though.

I hope to raise awareness of weasel words and other stuff here so that their use is reduced. Simple things like saying “I” helps, instead of an unidentified “we” for example.


“Other nonsense” seems to allow for all sorts of comments.

Who said “we” before I explained this topic was seriously discussed on the Old Forum? No one then thought an added blower system was a better prediction of fitness. Be ready for lots of past discussion to count on merits, rather than be a Netiquette crisis.

Yes. Maybe that’s wrong? I don’t really have an idea of what I mean with that. Maybe I want to also be able to include other logical fallacies. I’ll change the title.

I started this topic because in this topic I think I see that @dougselsam is not happy with the way you write. I’d like to see if we, all together, can get along a little bit better. Calling out the things “we” are not happy with might help.

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Doug has to live with how I write, sorry.

Why isn’t it weaselly to hide your identity without explanation?

Fully agree, @Windy_Skies !
Let’s weed out the weasle-words! :slight_smile:

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Scaling Laws in AWES Design

Can you please , or do you mind if I edit the original post to …
I predict
my prediction is

the more accurate we make this forum the more authoritative it becomes

I’d say we all choose to follow Airborne Wind Energy and you have to admit you have been a prolific contributor to the topic on specific forums. I am quite sure Dougs autonomy isn’t affected. It would be an abuse otherwise

Weasel words start with an abuse of “we” instead of “I”, giving a sort of self-enactment of expert’s status without endossing any responsability.

When the moderator sees such an abuse he can mention it, quoting the passage then indicating “weasel word(s)” or only the acronym as “ww”. The writer can reply as sometimes the said abuse is not always easy to prove. But dozens of “ww” mentions can be a deterrent.

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Please try to not call undesirable things out in a post since threads can quickly deteriorate into meta-discussions about the style of discussions. Maybe try a private message first.

This guide is helpful: