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Wednesday, August 6, 2008



In this weekend's NYT Magazine (which I read a hard copy of thank you very much) there is a fascinating article about the English language's use of the personal pronoun "I". They mention that "there’s no grammatical reason for doing so, and oddly enough, the majuscule 'I' appears only in English."

The effects? "It’s impossible to know, but perhaps our individualistic, workaholic society would be more rooted in community and quality and less focused on money and success if we each thought of ourselves as a small 'i' with a sweet little dot."

And because every article needs to have a politicized moment, "At the close of the primary season, the news media scrutinized Hillary Rodham Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama’s use of the first-person pronoun, the implication being that a string of 'I'’s signifies ungracious self-inflation. On the last day of voting, Clinton led the pack with 64 'I' ’s and McCain followed with 60. Obama’s 'I' count lagged at 30, and he was the only candidate whose combined 'we' ’s (37) and 'you' ’s (16) outnumbered his 'I'’s."

Interesting. Interesting. Interesting.

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