This page provides some general references about E-Prime as well as some documentation of my experiences.
In short, E-Prime refers to the English language used without any form of the verb to be. D. David Bourland, Jr. originated the idea as an extension of general semantics, a field of study and practice that seeks to regulate the evaluative operations performed in the human brain. The article TOWARD UNDERSTANDING E-PRIME by Robert Anton Wilson provides an excellent summary, including several examples (some a bit contrived). Wikipedia, as usual, provides a good overview of E-Prime.
Why non-intelligent machines will never translate English into E-Prime.
E-Prime: Not necessarily more accurate, but more easily refutable.
Over the years, I've had trouble translating some statements into E-Prime.
|My birthday is January 15th.||E-Prime generally requires a subjective actor. Though a statement of fact, this English construct describes the speaker as the object of birth. Most cultures consider birth a sensitive topic, making it hard to describe the actor, the mother, and the action, bearing or giving birth.||Clunky: My mother had me on January 15th.|
|How are you? How've you been? What have you been up to?||This general category of questioning seeks to catch the speaker up with the happenings of the recipient.||Clunky: What have you done lately? How have things gone for you lately?|