A civil service correspondent takes me to task for having dealt too leniently with this phrase in Plain Words. What I said was:
Being inclined to think, in the sense of inclining to an opinion not yet crystallised, is a reasonable enough expression, just as one may say colloquially "my mind is moving that way". But excessive use of the phrase may provoke the captious critic to say that if being inclined to think is really something different from thinking, then the less said about it the better until it has ripened into something that can be properly called thought.
My correspondent calls the phrase "a monstrosity" which he says,
"the cynic regards as being typical of the civil servant, who is (in his eyes) incapable of decisive thought".
Perhaps it is wise to avoid a phrase that can arouse feelings of that sort in anyone.
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