Sunday, November 09, 2014

repeating myself

I'm sure I've blogged about this before, but it bears repeating again and again and again and again:

PLEASE, for the love of God and all that is holy, can we stop using second person pronouns to talk about our own experiences?

Latest offender was an article I shouldn't even have been clicking on during a Saturday night sermon-tweaking session anyway. (because, well, I shouldn't have been on the interwebz to begin with, but also because of the content.) It was titled something like "what I learned the year my mom died" or some such. It was a young woman reflecting on her experience at the one-year anniversary mark.

There was nothing wrong with her content. Except that she presented it in points worded basically like this: "I learned that you _____."

no, honey, you didn't. YOU learned that YOU didn't learn anything about me.

Some of her points were similar to things I learned after my mom died. Others were things that didn't resonate with me much. Which made the use of second person pronouns all the more irritating.

Why can't we just talk about our own experiences, using "I" language, and let others extrapolate if they wish, rather than using this figure of speech that basically implies we should be having the same experience? It drives me crazy.

In the year or two since I've been noticing this more, I have learned that I'm likely the only one this bothers. And that people get really crabby if I correct them. And that *I* get really crabby if someone goes on and on about what "you" (meaning me) should/do/learned/see/know/whatever. It makes me almost tune out whatever their point is, it's so distracting.

Please: speak for yourself, and let me hear your story and determine how I might find myself in it (or not). Saying "I" isn't going to kill us, and it will make things a lot more clear.