Perhaps, Most Likely
In my English class, my instructer just criticized me for saying 'most likely' the author of one piece intended it to be interpreted a certain way. He said to state it as a fact, so it will be more convincing.
I'm not going to do that. I think it's wrong to pretend your opinions are facts. I can't read the author's mind, and say what he thought, and to act like I can seems to me to be a violation of that person. I am not Coleridge, Alice Munro, Ursula K LeGuin, etc. I can't know for certain what was in their minds when they wrote the pieces I've read. And I won't pretend that I do.
My professor says that everyone writing academically does this, and that if they didn't, no one would listen to anyone else and the fabric of society would be torn apart. (Yeah, right.) Well, I've read a lot of academic writing, and he's right in saying writing this way is common. So is, I think, the fallacy behind it, where your construction of reality becomes more real to you than reality itself, and you forget that you really don't know for certain that what you are saying is true - in fact, the vital difference between facts and interpretation. It's doesn't appear to be a mere convention used to make a point. People who write that way often act as if they honestly believe they know for certain what is merely conjecture. And I made a promise to myself that I would do my best to avoid being like that.
I'm willing to get slightly lowered marks for that. I don't think it's fair, it makes me very angry, but I'm not going to change anything by throwing a tantrum about it, and I'm not willing to give in either. It's not like I'm going to fail, either - I got 80% on my last essay.
I don't have any idea if I will be able to change this convention. It all depends on whether I become famous or just do my work and do it well with little recognition. But at the very least, I will stick to my principles.