negative statements create problems

TaraAs I read Ram Dass’ Journey of Awakening yesterday, one sentence stumped me:

Everyone needn’t go through the big public routes at all. The spiritual journey is individual, highly personal. It isn’t true that everybody should follow any one path.

I have read the first sentence over and over, and I still don’t know what it means. It could be this:

No one at all needs to go through the big public routes [to spiritual awakening].

Or, it could be this:

Some people don’t have to go through the big public routes [to spiritual awakening] at all.

Only Ram Dass knows what he intended with that first sentence, exemplifying one of the many wise guidelines in The Elements of Style by Strunk and White: Put statements in positive form.

Why risk making negative statements and leaving readers guessing? Put statements in positive form.

For more free writing tips, guidelines, and articles, visit Treasurefield Communications.

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About 123clear

I translate foggy information into plain English.
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