2

Would it sound awkward or would it be more coherent if instead of

I support the idea that...

I say/write this?

From my perspective, I support the idea that...

Please let me know if your response also applies to these expressions (so if it doesn't, I'll ask them separately):

In my experience, I feel that...

In my view, I posit that...

All things considered, I believe that...

From my perspective, I contend that...

Personally speaking, I believe that...

In my estimation, I postulate that...

From my perspective, I reason that...

5

The addition of a phrase such as "from my perspective" or "in my opinion" would sound neither more awkward nor more coherent. However, it would sound less absolute; that is, it would sound as though you would accept that others might not necessarily feel the same way.

As for your alternative wordings, in most contexts, I would avoid the more "technical" verbs such as posit and postulate, and stick with the more "ordinary" verbs such as feel and believe. I'd use contend only if I was writing about a contentious point.

The verb reason means to form a conclusion after careful analysis; I don't think it works well with the lead-in, "From my perspective..." I'd only use reason with introductions that fit better with the word's definition. You can't just switch these verbs and introductions randomly, as if you were indiscriminately pinning eyes and ears on a Mr. Potato Head. For example:

Therefore, I reason that users able to obtain the highest net benefit from the solution to a given new product (or process) need will be the ones who have devoted the most resources to understanding it.1

The word therefore works better with I reason that, while the phrase from my perspective works better with something like I have observed that.

Out of the several permutations you have listed, the only two I feel sound quite natural are:

All things considered, I believe that...

Personally speaking, I believe that...

The rest have either "too fancy" a verb for most contexts, or else use a verb that doesn't match well with the introductory lead-in.

  • 2
    +1 for Mr. Potato Head. That's an excellent example that should probably find its way into a canonical post at some point. – Jonathan Garber Aug 12 '13 at 20:59
  • Thank you so much. As always, your answer was concise and helpful. – user1555 Aug 13 '13 at 16:00
  • Nate: Perhaps, but @Jay did a great job of filling in where I left issues unaddressed. His examples are impeccable. – J.R. Aug 13 '13 at 16:05
2

Big dittos to JR and I upvote his answer. Let me just add:

Adding any additional phrases tends to weaken the statement, that is, make it sound less certain. Consider these phrases:

We should declare war on Trantor.

I think we should declare war on Trantor.

From my perspective, I think we should declare war on Trantor.

The first is very emphatic: this is how it is, period. The second makes it an opinion, and is thus weaker. The third is weaker still.

If your point is to make clear that you are uncertain or that you acknowledge contrary opinions, then add the qualifiers. But if you are trying to be persuasive or forceful, you should omit them.

Also, as JR says, your phrases are not interchangeable. "I reason that ..." indicates that you have made a logical analysis. You might say, "I reason that the president's proposed trade bill will reduce unemployment by at least 2% because ..." followed by some evidence. You probably wouldn't say, "I reason that strawberries taste better than cherries", because there is no analysis here, just a personal preference.

"Postulate" is normally used to indicate that you are proposing a theory for which you do not yet have strong evidence. Like you might say, "I postulate that there is life on the planet Aldebaran VII", meaning that you have reason to believe this is true but are far from having proof, or even that you are just throwing it out as an interesting topic for discussion with no evidence at all. You wouldn't say, "I postulate that ..." for something you firmly believe to be true. Like a politician would be unlikely to say, "I postulate that Mr Jones is the best candidate". He might say, "I am convinced that Mr Jones is the best candidate" or "I have concluded that Mr Jones is the best candidate."

Etc. Look at the definitions of each word before trying to use them.

0

Either of these forms would be grammatically valid, but (in general) I would not use them:

I support the idea that...

From my perspective, I support the idea that...

In my English writing classes, we were specifically taught to remove these types of phrases, since they serve no purpose. They only make your position sound weaker.

Obviously you are the person writing (or speaking) the sentence, so we already know that it's your perspective, and that you support the idea. :-)

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