Insinuation with Diminished Responsibility

Peter Wegner’s art installation Monument to Change as a Verb (in which 300 adverbs modify the verb “to change”) hangs on one of the walls of Stanford’s new Knight Management Center. The artist found, unwittingly I think, a fit representation for the main problem besetting business education (and writing) today: so many adverbs, so few verbs. Adverbs, as Jacques Barzun noted, “permit insinuation with diminished responsibility” (1974:45).

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