A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about the nefarious phrase “could care less” (The popularity of “could care less” cannot be underestimated) saying it was not worth getting uptight about its use. I must have some very lenient readers because no one took umbrage at this thesis, which kind of made my exhortation at the end a little superfluous.
There is an art, [the Guide] says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Pick a nice day, [the Guide] suggests, and try it.
The first part is easy. All it requires is simply the ability to throw yourself forward with all your weight, and willingness not to mind that it's going to hurt.
That is, it's going to hurt if you fail to miss the ground. Most people fail to miss the ground, and if they are really trying properly, the likelihood is that they will fail to miss it fairly hard.
Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties.
All in all, I hope you fail to miss my general gist: for informal conversation and writing, all of this doesn’t really matter. Informality ensures impermanence. For formal writing, I’d say clarity and style above all. Avoid over-negated clichés like these.
Stevens, Cat - Moonshadow
(from Greatest Hits)