Finally received my book that was recalled from someone else on the longbow and its history so I can write this essay on early medieval archery and I shit you not the first sentence of the introduction is “The longbow is a bow that is long as opposed to short.”
………You don’t say.
(Humph. I thought I’d posted this weeks ago, so not current but still IMO correct.)
Misremembered quotation, or deliberate mistake?
The book in question is “Longbow" (Robert Hardy, 1976, 1992) which with "The Great Warbow" (Matthew Strickland & Robert Hardy, 2005) and "English Longbowman 1330-1515" (Clive Bartlett, 1997) make an excellent overview of this notable weapon. The correct quote reads like this:
“A longbow is only a bow that is long rather than short. It has come to mean a particular kind of bow, the type still used today and presented quite precisely in the rules of the British Long Bow Society.
'A long bow is defined as the traditional type with stacked belly, horn nocks, and limbs made of wood only. All surfaces shall be convex.'
That description already excludes many kinds of bow that for the purposes of this book will be called longbows. But the Society exists to perpetuate the use of the traditional longbow (as) used at Crécy and Agincourt…”
Taking out that single word “only” as OP has done makes the first sentence look like it’s stating the I-shit-you-not obvious.
However, Robert Hardy (actor, historian and occasional TV presenter) knows his way round the English language and how one small word can change the tenor of a sentence.
Leaving “only” where he put it shows he’s perfectly aware how obvious the statement is, and goes on to give his reasons for using it.
What were OP’s reasons for not using it? Honest error, or making some sort of point with a cheap shot? Shots and points have their place in an essay about archery, but I’d suggest not like this.