Is my bedtime reading tonight.
First off, let me say that as a writer, Grisham is light years ahead of James Patterson. No cocks flopping around like cod in a basket for Mr. Grisham!
That being said, cranking out material at the velocity that people like Patterson and Grisham do has its cost in either case. (Grisham finishes a novel every six months.) So we find in Grisham a sentence like: "He was much too careful about the security system to get careless." Well, yes, since "being careful" means "not being careless," that sentence says nothing more then "He was very careful" or "He was not careless."
But the one I found more puzzling is that several times, in reference to mountaintop removal mining, Grisham has a character say "It is legal because it is not illegal."
Here, it is not so much the fact that we apparently have a tautology like above that bothers me. It is, rather, that Grisham appears to think that this should not be true (the characters that say this are the heroes): he seems to feel that an activity should be illegal, unless it has been specifically approved. When are trained American attorney has this attitude, this suggests are present difficulties may run even deeper than I had imagined.
"If your approach to mathematics is mechanical not mystical, you're not going to go anywhere." -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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