Critical Discourse as Alibi

What handier linguistic resource could a rhetorician want than an ambiguity whereby he can say “The state of affairs is substantially such-and-such,” instead of having to say “The state of affairs is and/or is not such-and-such”? (Grammar 52).

I looked online for a couple interpretations of this passage and the section from which it comes, but I couldn’t find much that seemed to help. I especially don’t get the use of the word “ambiguity” when considering something in itself, which, fiction or not, would certainly be handy! And doesn’t most discourse proceed with this (faulty) assumption? And what about arguments that present nuance, exception, irony, and so on? Don’t they also pretend to have a reality that gets its authority precisely because it’s not substantial in the Burkean sense? Such is life? Such is critical discourse? A necessary and inevitable process of “reducing double-binds to single-binds,” as Spivak says in a number of places? What How, then, would be a discourse of the actual, kaleidoscopic and/or?

Comments

I especially don't get the word "substantially." Haven't we discussed, here and elsewhere, how this word means literally nothing? And if that's our reading of KB, then the two statements here have no distinction, except perhaps to confuse any who believe in some meaning behind "substance." I just want to play with this word and talk about a stance below, perhaps one that would subvert an assertion of some stasis in "affairs."