If you’re like most people, you may use a lot of phrases like “I think we should . . .” or “I feel like . . .” or “It would be great if . . .” All these phrases are forms of hedging—they’re little qualifiers that undermine what you’re saying.
There are a few reasons a writer might hedge. Hedging makes your statements less direct, and sometimes that feels more polite, especially if you’re expressing disagreement or criticism. Hedging can also feel like an escape hatch. If you turn out to be wrong, well, it was just a random thought you had... . But the feeling of safety you get from hedging is only that: a feeling. In reality, hedging makes you look uncertain and unconfident.
Trace Oswald wrote:I think the "be nice" philosophy on this site tends to force hedging.
I very seldom do this. Probably the only time I feel the need to hedge, is if I'm presenting something as completely speculative because it's an idea I've had that is unproven.
I seldom hedge. The only time I feel the need to hedge is if I'm presenting a speculative or unproven idea.
r ranson wrote: 1. The sky is pink.
r ranson wrote:In a forum setting, the word count is huge. We don't really need to edit out hedging. We can merge qualifying and hedging together to make our communication softer.
In print media, things are different. Too many words lose the attention of the reader. They read print media to discover what an authority has to say on the topic. In this situation, removing hedging gives the writing more power to influence the reader.