A number of years ago, I had an Internet chum who insisted, both in email and on the Buddhist bulletin board we both frequented, on refraining from the use of the word "I." I can't remember if he slyly elevated his own stock in the usual way, by using "one" or "we," but I do remember that his habit created some pretty convoluted and sometimes downright ridiculous writing.
But at the same time that I was tut-tutting about my friend's habit, I was in the throes of a habit of my own -- not using adjectives when at all possible. Both of us, I suppose, were on some kind of 'purity' or 'discipline' bender... expending energy with an eye to some more tuned-in result.
I have since lost touch with my old friend and have no way of knowing whether he has kept his discipline oiled. I do know that I now no longer worry about using adjectives.
To quote the lazy who remain flummoxed by the bad, "it's all good."
Actually, of course, it's not all good at all.
It's better than "good."
I have to comment here Adam...For a Brit ( for example ) using 'one' is not refusing responsibility for our own actions or beliefs or opinions. ( I nearly wrote 'ones own actions '...)ReplyDelete
Refusing to use 'I ' AT ALL of course smacks of the kind of phoniness that one ( sorry ) finds on ZFI where an emotionally alienated goon will assure anyone interested that neither he nor they exist.
But when a Brit uses 'one' it may just mean that they have been raised to never assume that they are speaking for another.
So for example my use of 'one'in the previous para is to avoid the suggestion that the reader a) knows ZFI, b) knows the phenomenon that I refer to and c) agrees with it.
It carries a batsqueak of sensibility that carries a clear message to other Brits...