I read science books. We live in an exciting era of such technological and scientific discovery. Scientists are eager to share information by writing books. New books are coming out all the time. Without question, scientists have command of vocabulary and grammar. And many are good writers. Unfortunately, I have developed an aversion (if not neurosis) to a frequently abused phrase found in many science books. The more I see the phrase, the more it wears on me. If it happens twice on the same page, the book is disposed. The phrase has several iterations: that is, that is to say, in other words. Here’s an example of how the phrase is used: I vibrate different thicknesses of strings tuned and stretched on a plank of wood to induce a musical, auditory feedback, that is to say, I play guitar. This example is silly, but you get the idea. The reason the use of this phrase annoys me so much is because the author is using it to say the same thing twice. Either the author lacks the confidence in their ability to explain things correctly the first time, or they believe the reader to be intelligently deficient. Either way, it’s an assumption on the part of the author, and something I didn’t ask for. I’m not a dummy. Write it once. Write it the best way first. So what do you think? A little too grumpy? Any pet peeves to share as a reader?