"Every free individual
should share Ayn Rand's deep skepticism of plural pronouns.
Plural pronouns reek of socialism, schizophrenia, and slavery."
There is very little research that examines third-person self referencing.
Of the work that exists, much of it examines real-life examples that are awkward
or oddball. Most commentary is superficial, with very little critical analysis
of any benefits in 3rd person self referencing. http://rexcurry.net/third-person-writing.html
Dr. Rex Curry began writing about himself in the third person voice after
he made the shocking discovery that the early salute used for the USA's Pledge
of Allegiance was a straight-arm salute, and it was the origin of the notorious
salute of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-pledge.html
Most journalists are too timid and ignorant to cover the pledge news or
the pledge's putrid past, so Curry began writing the news story for them.
The value of the writing style increased after Dr. Curry made the additional
historical discovery that the swastika, although an ancient symbol, was sometimes
used by German National Socialists to represent meshed "S" letters for the
"socialism" of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-swastika.html
Professional journalists enjoy third person self-referencing. Writing about
one's self from the third person point of view is common in journalism. News
reporters often regurgitate stories that politicians, bureaucrats, and officials
write about themselves in the third person for reporters. At other times,
the media take money from the same cretins to run campaign ads exactly as
written in boastful third person voices. It happens so often that it explains
why journalists have become mouthpieces for statism, and why they are too
timid and ignorant for accurate reporting.
Dr. Curry's style assists journalists and puts them at ease with their normal
Journalism's widespread timidity and ignorance creates ever-shorter stories
that provide less information, and much of it is wrong and/or unattributed.
That creates another benefit to 3rd person self references. Copious third
person self-referencing provides more attribution, and it enables readers
to do what journalists should do: find more information by going to the referenced
Readers enjoy third person self-referencing. Third person self-refencing
helps readers remember authors. Many people read lengthy articles and
never notice the author's name. That is because the author's name appears
once -at the beginning or the end- and some readers do not make it to the
name at the end, and other readers who make it to the end forget the name
if it appeared at the beginning. Many people can read entire books
and not recall the author for the same reason: the author was never mentioned
in the hundreds of pages, or the author was referenced with the pronoun "I."
The pronoun "I" has impersonal and indefinite qualities in that it does not
provide identifying information. Readers must constantly perform the mental
chore of refreshing the memory of who "I" is. Some readers eschew the
chore. Readers enjoy third person self-referencing because it ends
Readers enjoy third person self-referencing because it refreshes their memory
regarding titles and qualifications. The pronoun "I" does not identify
the writer as a doctor, or a professor, or as anyone with special knowledge
or qualifications. That problem worsens when cut-and-paste excerpts
or quotations hop around the web. That problem also worsens with dishonest
journalists who misrepresent sources and their qualifications. Third person
self-referencing solves or lessens that problem.
Journalism has changed a lot with the internet, and those changes promote
third person self-references. Computers, email, and word-processing
maximize cut-and-paste writing that often loses attribution and other details,
and creates factual errors. Copious self-referencing solves some of
those problems and gives the original source for correcting errors.
Third person self-referencing helps readers, authors, journalists and everyone,
because of internet word search technology. Anyone (including an author)
can search for an author's comments or quotations anywhere on the internet
by using the author's name. No author (nor anyone else) can search
for his work by searching for "I" in an internet word search for the author's
first person singular comments. Third person self-referencing solves
Professor Curry didn't invent 3rd person self-referencing, but he certainly
elevated it to an art form.
The internet (bless its heart) has enabled idiots to post off-topic non-reponsive
insults to bright people who are trying to learn. Before the internet,
the idiots would never have had an opportunity to say anything to their targets
(their intellectual betters). Today, the internet presents the opportunity
and the idiots promptly squander it with off-topic insults. Idiotic insults
should be rebuked and the best rebuke (on the internet in a written post)
is the same insult thrown back at its source in a third person voice. The
returned insult doubles because direct conversation does not occur with its
source (who would otherwise be ignored, but for the miracle of the internet).
It is equal to saying "You do not deserve first person voice. You deserve
third person voice." Instead, the source is merely used as a podium upon
which to rebuke the source in view of others, and for their benefit. The
third person voice can constantly remind the insult's source of the title
and position of the person to whom the insulter (if he studies and improves)
might one day converse.
One down-side to the preceding strategy is that many idiotic insults are,
well, idiotic (and ungrammatical), and when they are returned to sender,
there is a danger that other parties will not realize that the idiocy originated
elsewhere. The third person voice should be used to explain to third
parties that the idiotic insult is being returned in its original condition
to its manufacturer. Corrected spelling is permitted, and it doubles
the insult to the source (assuming that he can read well enough to see the
corrections of his errors).
Third person self-referencing is not the same issue as third person writing
(a common writing method).
These definitions and examples are from Ginny Wiehardt:
Definition: A method of storytelling in which a narrator relates all action
in third person, using third person pronouns such as "he" or "she." Third
person may be omniscient or limited. Often new writers often feel most comfortable
with first person, but writing in the third person allows a writer more freedom
in how a story is told.
Examples: Jane Austen's novel, "Pride and Prejudice," like many classic
novels, is told from the third person point of view.
Definition: A method of storytelling in which the narrator knows the thoughts
and feelings of all of the characters in the story, as opposed to third person
limited, which adheres closely to one character's perspective.
Examples: In "Anna Karenina," which is written in the third person omniscient,
the story is told by an all-knowing narrator, allowing us to see the world
through the eyes of many characters, not just Anna's.
Definition: Third person limited point of view is a method of storytelling
in which the narrator knows only the thoughts and feelings of a single character,
while other characters are presented externally. Third person grants a writer
more freedom than first person, but less than third person omniscient.
Examples: Ian McEwan's novel, "Saturday," told in first person limited point
of view, closely adheres to Henry Perowne's thoughts and perceptions throughout
The examples below demonstrate writers struggling with third person style.
The struggle sometimes develops in writers who believe that good writing requires
a detached, objective point of view. Such a stance avoids using 'I,' 'we,'
or 'our.' Often that results in the tortuous and repetitive use of 'the author,'
'the writer' or 'the present author,' when the writer is referring to himself.
Burnard (1994) rhetorically asks 'Who, if not 'I' is writing these words?'
'In this case study the writer will endeavour to .'
'Within the context of this assignment one will attempt to analyze the results.'
'In discussing this incident the author will rely upon a variety of supporting
What is first person writing?
Writing in the first person means that the writer refers to himself as 'I'
or when reporting on something involving colleagues, as 'we' or 'our.' There
are times when this approach is appropriate even in essays.