The other day I happened to spy the cover of a book with some interesting information on it. It was a how-to book, and claimed (I have no reason to doubt it) to be a best-seller. It went on to say that this copy– the one I held in my hands– was a third edition. So far, so good. But then it informed me that this copy, this new, third edition, was Completely Revised. Completely Revised. This struck me as odd– does it you?
Can they hope to sell as many copies this time? Will it/can it possibly be better? Can it– a Complete Revision— bear any semblance whatsoever to editions one and two?
What do they mean by “completely revised”?
It was a how-to book. This promise of complete revision, to my mind, is a legal clause, subtly informing us that all the “how-to” of editions one and two was Wrong.