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The Use of Personal Pronoun
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ehsan elahi ehsan
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:54 pm    Post subject: The Use of Personal Pronoun Reply with quote

The use of personal pronoun I damages more than it benefits.
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Harry
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The use of personal pronoun I damages more than it benefits."

I noticed no one picked up on this topic, Ehsan. Do you suppose everyone is in agreement or perhaps it is as we say in the States, "A hot Potato?"

I've always been a big fan of the personal pronoun. Not because I've wanted to inject myself and my personal clarification of subjects I know little or nothing about, but to separate accepted opinion from my own.

I know very little about what the world thinks, or what is right and proper in the company of others. I really only know what I've learned in a lifetime of hard knocks and meager success, so I can really only speak for myself - and then, only when I'm asked.

So I must apologize for any damage I've done by speaking for myself. I'm sure I've blurted out many words of advice that, if taken, could have led to disaster - but it seemed like a good idea at the time. I'm sure my heart was in the right place even if my mouth was too big for the occasion.
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ehsan elahi ehsan
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 6:32 pm    Post subject: The use of Personal Pronoun Reply with quote

Harry, it is very good to separate accepted opinions from one's own but this new opinion should add something to or improve the accepted opinions. This use of personal pronous is positive and, no dboubt, benefits. Yet there is another way with some people, and that is that they think that they are always right and others are always wrong. Their ego is dominant on them. They either do not listen to others, or listen only to reject them. It is in this sense that the personal pronoun damages more than it benefits.
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mattt
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:09 pm    Post subject: a Reply with quote

I agree that there are the domineering who have no empathy. I aslo feel that western culture's presentation of the "I", has done something that some cultures have not. (I mention no specific languages, but I have a couple of experiences wherepersonal pronouns are so rarely occurring that they are almost inconceivable.)

"I" has often made itself responsible, accountable for one or more things. (Again, no languages mentioned...)

If we have a language wherein it is common (translation here) to say, "There is sorriness.", it is possible for an individual to ride along that more passively, and comfortably. It is as well, possible for others to feel more passively about an issue, if no one is anyone.

As long as there are "You's", I suppose it's only fair that there be "I's", and "He's", and "She's". -And what the hell, we might as well toss in an occasional possessive. You never know when you'll need one, or a friend will need one. (Nonetheless, I am more supportive of the pronouns that are not possessive pronouns. Ahhh... Generally speaking.)

It seems that during the last couple of years, my "I" and my "me", dropped out of existence. There's not much I can do like that. It must be that the "we", called agreement that there was an "I" or a "me", had dropped away before the "I" fell away, or I might have been, and so, yet be.

Algetsubnigga?
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Vannak
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pretty much (now as it is) work at another site where users (Mainly younger ones) post poetry and other literature.
The one thing I've noticed about the words "I" "You" and "We", is that more than 99% of the time, it is used in a way that is either egocentric, or in a way that limits the ability a reader has to learn or absorb a meaning. (Keeping in mind I have more than twenty teenagers writing suicide poems a day, it really does take its toll on my mind).
The problem with those words it that it makes the situation seem too personal, beyond the purpose for effect it is supposed to have. Too many people are born with only their perspective, and are unable to see any other, using words such as "He" or "She" while at the same time not using those other pronouns. The end result is a suffocation of personal thought that, quite frankly, leaves a reader to read not much more than just a series of vignettes and autobiographies.
It does limit the ability one has to draw from an experience another shares, it's almost like an "Oh, that moral works wonderful for you, but what about me?" type of response.
Along with the language mention, I do notice that many conquering nations, past and present, use the word I a lot :Shock: Maybe this is insight to a culture's ability to have an ego?

That would pretty much end it for me.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:07 pm    Post subject: no Reply with quote

"in a way that limits the ability a reader has to learn or absorb a meaning"

That phrase doesn't fit into my understanding. It seems that as you pointed out, too many people are limited to their own perspectives, and it is evident in the writing, so there is little confusion about meaning. In a counselor's capacity I could understand reader's frustration if the counselor is seeing that in the writing there are unidentified factors.

We each have a limited set of tools for including as much is needed. We each have a limited set of tools for absorbing all that is needed.

In the case we are discussing, the only real solution might be to eliminate personal pronouns from English. After that we could each succumb to a life of no individuation, and we could follow the business plans of the day.

I don't differentiate very much between any plans from greater powers. I do know that I feel the experiences I experience, and the lives they take on after their occurrences.
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DaveR
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In many cases a story told from the first person point of view is the best way to write the story. How else other than using "I" can the story be written? I -- there's that confounded pronoun -- don't think there is anything inherently wrong with "I" and sometimes the an egocentric narrator is most effective in telling a story.

Is writing poetry any different? Is the use of "I" in a poem a no-no?
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Harry
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think, (or maybe that's a bad way to atart) .... It seems to me, (there, that's closer to the truth of it) that the royal "We" is the height of egocentricity. Vannak says, "Too many people are born with only their perspective" ... that's true - but it's difficult to see how it could be any other way. For the infant there is no other perspective. But when we, as adults, continue to live within the narrow confines of ourselves, the "I" becomes a shield to hide behind, and it begins to approach the keynote statement at the beginning of this thread.

Then it's only a short step to make the "I" a "we" in which the adult attempts to speak for everyone.

Whenever I say "I," I mean "me," and by no stretch of the imagination do I include anyone else. That's why I thought Ehsan's original bumper sticker "The use of personal pronoun I damages more than it benefits." was too all-inclusive and tends to mislead.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:33 am    Post subject: personal pronouns Reply with quote

Interesting discussion you guys have going on here, in my opinion there is nothing inherently wrong with using the pronoun I so long as it sin't used for the wrong purpose (egocentrcism for examle), inappropriately, Mad or is used to enhacne a piece of literature. I think Hary is entirely right when he ways that we is the worst form of this problem because as Harry put it, "We is all inclusive it doesn't include just you or I" Very Happy okay so paraphrasing there a bit but just trying to get my point acroos well I've got to head off to my Psch 101 class now ttyl. Heidi Cool
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DaveR
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being a bit egocentric, aren't you Heidi. " . . . off to MY psch 101 class . . . " Only kidding.

Ehsan you didn't once mention I in your essay "What Generates Terrorism," yet you, or "I", is all over it. It can't be helped.

How something is written, not the inclusion of personal pronouns, is what makes a work egocentric. [OOps, that statement sounds authoritative and is itself egocentric.]

I believe, how something is written, not the inclusion of personal pronouns, is what makes a work egocentric. [Isn't this a little less egocentric?]

I, who am the humble servant of God, find how a work is written, not the inclusion of the personal pronoun "I," is what makes the work egocentric.
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Vannak
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not the word it's self, but the ego it may hint at that is more bothersome. The word I is a word, like anyother, however when it is all that we depend on, when we learn that writing in the prospective of I and only I, then we run into problems.

It's not the word, but how it is used, and why it is used that becomes problematic.
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ehsan elahi ehsan
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:27 pm    Post subject: The Use of Personal Pronoun Reply with quote

Vannak is right when he says,
"It's not the word, but how it is used, and why it is used that becomes problematic.
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When the personal pronoun is used to divert the attention from what is said to who is saying that it becomes more harmful, it becomes equal to "some greateness thrust upon them". The use of personal pronouns, more often or course, leads to subjectivity instead of objectivity and this is the area when it become more damaging.
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Jolanta
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If a reader reads in a poem (the delicate matter) I, and at the same time he or she can identify himself (herself) with the author, then this poem is very good, I think.
Besides, an author, by using I, is able to reach his or her most gentle feelings that he has experienced on his own and readers treat such poems like their own.
I in poetry has nothing to do with egocentrism. If you read, I hate it, then you can see all the reasons make you hate something. If you read, he hates it, then you treat it only like some information quite indifferent to you personally. It is a matter of our reception, I think.
But I remember Harrys advice to use he in a story and it was a very good advice, it was sensible in the story.
The using he can vary poems and stories. It lets keep himself at a distance, which is necessary for authors, mainly in stories (narrator), I think.
Besides, poetry and writing stories or novels keep to different rules.
Writers should be egocentric in the positive meaning like other artists are.

Jolanta
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Harry
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jograd

If you want to test your ability as a writer, try writing a first-person short story with the I in it, a person you dislike. Put your own likes and dislikes aside and give this person all the care and attention you would give him if his persona were your own.

We are writers first, and people second. We often forget that. The words we put on paper will outlive us and people will read them long after our personal likes and dislikes have faded away.

There. Ive said that as though it was established fact. It isnt. It just happens to be something I believe - a personal opinion. Its true for me but it doesnt have to be true for anyone else.
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ehsan elahi ehsan
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:38 am    Post subject: The Use of Personal Proun Reply with quote

In poetry and other literary creations, the personal pronoun I is not the same as is used by the author in his discussion or opinion. In poetry and other literary creations, the writer, in spite of using I is in a way negating his own personality because he raises himself or his character from the particular level to general level. When the author or his character is speaking on general level, he is representing the human beings, not his own ego. But in discussion how would it look like when a person provides you food for thoughtfulness and in response, and without any argument or reason you say, "I do not like it, or I like it only in this way, or this is not the way I like" It is in this sense that I stated that the use of personal pronoun is damaging more than it benefits. Moreover, the statement should be taken in its totality. To say that it is damaging more than it benefits, is quite different from when we say the use of personal pronoun I is damaging or it is always damaging.
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Linda
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry wrote:
...We are writers first, and people second. We often forget that. The words we put on paper will outlive us and people will read them long after our personal likes and dislikes have faded away...


That's beautiful Harry. Thank you for reminding us.

Linda
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Jolanta
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Surprised
It must be a very interesting and exciting experience to write a first-person short story with the I in it, a person I dislike, Harry.
Well, I know such a person...
To give this person all the care and attention I would give her if her persona were me own Question Exclamation
At the beginning this idea seems to be simply impossible, but on second thoughts... why not?
I must think up some short story...
Thanks

Jolanta
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DaveR
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jolanta, be careful you don't become the character you create. . . however, it will be a compliment when we think you are the character you write, as if you were a great actor playing a role.

Harry, the following that you wrote should be coined, (I believe) or at least thought of whenever we read a speech or essay or listen to a lecture: "There. Ive said that as though it was established fact. It isnt. It just happens to be something I believe - a personal opinion. Its true for me but it doesnt have to be true for anyone else."
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Jolanta
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you think, DaveR, that the character could be bad for my psyche?
So I should seriously consider the possibility...

Smile

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ehsan elahi ehsan
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:28 pm    Post subject: Role Playing Reply with quote

Our characters are not We, but they are our children. Howsoever we may try to get rid of them, they have our psyche embodied in them.
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DaveR
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a possibility, Jolanta. To become possessed by the character you create. But I feel you can handle the task without sacrificing your soul.
Take only a breif trip to the dark side.
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Jolanta
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Our characters are not We, but they are our children" - I feel the same for my poems. They are born, brought up (corrected), and then I do my best to... get rid of them (to send them into space)...
But I have doubts whether I am a good mother... Confused

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is very difficult to write a good short story without sacrificing soul, I think. Smile


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not really a sacrifice, I think. The soul comes back to you - particularly if it's a good short story.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah ha. I think; therefore, I am -- I think.
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