I dislike ‘as ifs’ when they’re used in a way that isn’t a simile. For example, “Shannon put some escargot in her mouth as if to eat it”. It’s like saying “this tree looks like a tree” — it’s not a simile but an equation with both things on either side of the equation side being exactly the same. A = A. I just read a book where a kid pulled his jacket tighter ‘as if’ to keep the storm out. I’ve read a lot of this sort of thing but didn’t bother remembering examples. They’re all like “Shannon pulled her hand away from the hot stove element ‘as if’ in pain” or whatever. Why is ‘as if’ necessary here? It reduces the immediacy of the event, making it kind of distant.

It’s another case of ‘people writing what other people write’, where people assume it’s okay because other people have written it without considering what they’re actually writing or whether it’s appropriate. Blindfolded people standing in a row with their hands on the shoulders of the people in front of them.

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