Michael Haykin has a superb post on the importance of precision in our research, reading, and writing - especially in the small things! He states,
Without precision, the faculty of taking care to be exact and right, the interest in details, there can be no good history-writing. If such a faculty is naturally present, it must be honed. If it be not present, it must be learned.
This reminds me of the famous remark by the Puritan Richard Rogers when asked why he was so precise. To which he gave the quick reply, 'Oh, sir, I serve a precise God.'
For all the fuss about Puritan prolixity, they were painstakingly precise. Their words were measured and carefully chosen. They not only gave considerable effort to positively articulating a theological or pastoral point, but they also were meticulous in accurately representing opponent's viewpoints. Rarely will you find a Puritan misrepresenting his adversary.
Here is a practical lesson for us researchers. Let us work hard to be precise. Not only in the way we research but also in the way we represent the perspectives of others (even when we disagree). In our reading and writing let us strive to be precisionists!
NB: Sorry for the infrequent posting of late. I'm trying to take advantage of these summer months to forge ahead in my research and will also be away on holiday. Things will certainly pick up in the fall. However, I'm hoping to post on Muller PRRD soon. So do come back. Thanks for your patience!