A Peculiar Clarity

Some years ago, on impulse, I answered a tiny ad in the back of an obscure magazine.
A few weeks later I received a small book entitled To Be or Not.

In it D. David Bourland, Jr. wrote:

... in 1949, I held a Fellowship for study with Alfred Korzybski at the Institute of General Semantics...

[a person] wrote to the Institute suggesting that, in view of the problems Korzybski had discussed in connection with the 'is of Identity' and the 'is of Predication,' perhaps we should just abandon all uses of the verb 'to be.' While no one else at the Institute seemed particularly interested in this suggestion, it struck me as having considerable merit, provided one could really do it...

The time fit me just right: I had a paper in preparation for the Third Congress on General Semantics. I decided to revise it once again to see if I could say, and indeed say better, what I wanted to convey without using any form of "to be." In the process of this revision, I acquired an intermittent, but severe, headache which lasted for about a week. The final paper had a peculiar clarity...

Between 1949 and 1964 I used E-Prime in several papers, but did not discuss this matter lest I become regarded as some kind of nut...

Mr. Bourland had discovered E-Prime.