The Mighty I

by Charmaine on March 1, 2009

Every issue of Entertainment Weekly has a what’s hot/what’s not sidebar, and I’m loving this week’s reference:

In: I/Me
Five Minutes Ago: Their/There/They’re
Out: Its/It’s

Perhaps I’m misreading the author’s intent, but my thoughts instantly went to pronoun usage.

I’m a big proponent of the first person “I/me” in all communications, even the drollest white papers and technical articles. “I” is an instant dollop of life, of power, of humanity. “I” has within it vulnerability and can strengthen connections between writers and readers.

Yet the passive voice is activated by authors all too often — so much so that you might not realize that I just did it.  ARRRGH!

If you stand behind something, whether it’s your Web site or your research or anything you seek to assert in writing, it is ridiculous to hide behind a pronoun.

Readers want to believe what they’re reading; they want an authoritative voice. Step out from behind the keyboard and take ownership for your authorship; use the mighty I.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bob April 14, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Maybe it’s referring to the popular grammar criticisms of the time, meaning that five minutes ago it was cool to observe (or correct, if that’s how you roll) people’s misusing of their, there or they’re. Now maybe it’s cool to use nominative correctly (It is I / These are they) when people would normally (and incorrectly) use the accusative (It is me / These are them). Or maybe that’s just me. I mean I.

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