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Rephrasing

20 July 2013

What it said

In an article finished and published on 10 July 2013 I had written:

In fact, a bank enters into a financial relationship with its clients. There are claims (assets) and obligations (liabilities) between the bank and its clients. The bank however does not interfere in claims or obligations between its clients, although these too do exist.

How it was understood

David Ardron, the Australian co-director of PfMPE (People for Mathematically Perfected Economy), commented on my text, and specifically about the above passage, he wrote:

Is this not the pot calling the kettle black regarding contradictions ?

And a little below – even before he noticed my rewrite (which I announced on twitter) David Ardron asked:

Does the bank not  interfere on the contract or does an interference likewise exist Mr, Harmsen??
   
Make your mind up Mr, Harmsen?

So apparently, Dave Ardron interpreted myalthough these too do exist” as referring to “interfere”.

I didn’t think, and still don’t think that is even grammatically possible. The words can only refer back to “claims or obligations between its [meaning: the bank’s] clients

But hey, if my words are misinterpreted, that proves that they can be. As a writer you must always be careful about alternative readings that readers may see. Yourself you tend to overlook those, because you know the thoughts that surround you.

What it says now

So to avoid any possibility of unclearness, I quickly split, reworded and enhanced the sentence, and the text passage became:

In fact, a bank enters into a financial relationship with its clients. There are claims (assets) and obligations (liabilities) between the bank and its clients. The bank however does not interfere in claims or obligations between its clients. Such bilateral claims and obligations between bank clients do also exist, but the bank does not have anything to do with them.

How they reacted

I thought that would clarify the matter. But it didn’t, seeing that David Ardron added this to his article:

PLEASE NOTE: Mr. Harmsen has since now reworded his original quote above on his article, only in a poor attempt , clutching at straws , to evade answering the questions immediately below.”

And Dutch PfMPE co-director Jacob Schot (a.k.a. Jac or Jake) days later harked back on it on Twitter:

Jac @Holland4MPE 19 Jul  
   
@rudharcom Reworded your original quote in article, in a poor attempt, to evade answering the questions immediately. australia4mpe.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/promis__…

So by clarifying a possibly ambiguous statement by rewording it, I am evading questions? Questions about what consideration a bank gives up when it grants a loan (answer: the money!), which I already answered on 19 June 2013 and in umpteen other articles months before that.

What this tells us

This says something about these people’s levels of English, levels of comprehension, levels of accuracy, levels of thinking. I am sad to say this, because it isn’t nice or polite to call people stupid even when they are. They can’t help it, we should accept everybody the way they are.

But in this case it is just too obvious and they already put it out in the open themselves, so I might as well say it like it is.


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