Friday, June 5, 2015

The author...

Quoting from a published report :
The author would like to acknowledge [..] The author is grateful to [..] The author also appreciates [..]
If the author of the report isn't an anonymous person and if it's not someone else writing on behalf of the author (and what would that even mean?)..

Then why can't we just use "I" like we do in everyday life? Why is the language of a published material deliberately removed from reality?

Just imagine, 5000 years from now, archaeologists will discover 1000s of texts like this from a rejuvenated pen drive, and what will they conclude?
"Boy, people in those times sure talked funny!"

How would it seem if I brought in the same style to regular conversation?
"The person speaking to you would appreciate it if you would pass him a tissue paper."

"The manager has decided to terminate your services" (and the guy saying this is the manager only)

"The husband would like to ask his wife if she has a headache tonight as well"

Is this yet another example of the rituals intellectuals dictate to distinguish themselves from the masses? Is it like, Oh if you use "I" in your report then you're not a good report-writer?

And on the technical end, look at how difficult it makes life! If I'm writing something sharing my own lived experience, and if I have to religiously avoid using "I" "me" etc, then I'm screwed! And why would I read a document that is impersonal.. where the author pretends to not have been part of the events that he/she is writing about, where all real personal experiences that would give SO much more insight into the matter, ultimately get omitted??

And of course the most obvious : The responsibility / accountability part. Don't know how you feel, but when I see language like this, I get the feeling that "the author" is escaping from any personal accountability in the matter. He/She becomes just a passive observer or a receiver, not a doer. So imagine how tough it would be for DOERS to write about what they did in this kind of official lingo. It basically cuts them out, or in other cases, empowers them to get away with things.

So here's a challenge to oncoming generations of official report etc writers :

Use the "I", "me", etc.

PS: If you feel like replying to this with a proper logical explanation and reference some published Oxford norms or so that justify this silly behaviour or credit it to some grandiose noble motive, then the author of this post would like to tell you to f**k off.

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