“Food has been around since the beginning of time.”

As we gather to enjoy the old traditions of this time of year, we may not realize that eating is one of those traditions—perhaps the oldest! It goes back to the beginning of time!

That knowledge should also settle the age-old question “What did the first people eat?” or even “What did the dinosaurs eat?” Now we know: FOOD. Who says people and dinosaurs don’t have much in common? Adam and Eve and T-Rex probably sat down to many a food-feast together back in the Eden days.

The first sentence of a discussion of the link between obesity and overindulgence in fast food, this is another student effort to invoke Yore. As I’ve noted before, students seem to find these quick-but-definitive historical pronouncements irresistible for opening statements. The one here is the single most profound, most resonant, most certain I’ve ever seen. And unlike many of the others, this one is also almost certainly true.

But what can a writing instructor write in the margin to suggest to the student that it is also a crashingly obvious fact, and therefore not the wisest way to begin an argument? Next I’ll be reading an argument on bridge collapses that begins “Gravity has been around since the beginning of time.”

Surely the writer can find common ground with the reader closer than the edge of the universe.

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About RAB

Teacher of English writing and literature (college-level); academic-freedom activist; editor and copy editor; theater director, costumer, actress, playwright. View all posts by RAB

4 responses to ““Food has been around since the beginning of time.”

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