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Toucan
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06 Dec 2008, 9:48 pm

Read somewhere (or maybe an exgf hit me with it . . .) that I'm way too selfish and that use of the word "I" in excess is indicative of that. So try to avoid using it if possible. Kinda tricky sometimes.

The word "we" is more variable and playfully used. It's not necessarily specific. Someone says something icky, laughter ensues, and I state, "Let's not go there" or "WE shouldn't go there." It's not a definite statement. It indicates myself, singular, but uses the plural pronoun. Imprecision isn't a sin, nor is verbal precision mandatory. My feeling is that if someone spots this relaxed use and voices objection, run.

Occasionally, it doesn't simply refer to me alone as an individual, but to me as a collective of components. My id, the panther, has a different set of priorities than moi, the superego. When we agree on something, it's "We."

Some might find this disturbing. lol.

Just being honest. 8)



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06 Dec 2008, 10:15 pm

I bet it's a language thing. You learn language by talking to others, usually; so when the other person refers to you as "you", then you think that "you" is the word for yourself, rather than "I". Turning the language around in your head is a bit complicated and it makes sense that somebody who's not too good at language wouldn't get it right away.


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06 Dec 2008, 10:24 pm

Umm, I use I pretty normally now. When I was younger I would say she a lot. Instead of "I'm thirsty" I would say "She's thirsty". Or I would use we but my grandma used to say "Who else is with you?" which helped to end that. I still slip into "you" when I am stressed out and "we" comes out very rarely.


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2ukenkerl
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06 Dec 2008, 10:55 pm

Callista wrote:
I bet it's a language thing. You learn language by talking to others, usually; so when the other person refers to you as "you", then you think that "you" is the word for yourself, rather than "I". Turning the language around in your head is a bit complicated and it makes sense that somebody who's not too good at language wouldn't get it right away.


That's why I brought up the info about hindi and arabic. Could you imagine a little boy being brought up by his mother, and using the wrong conjugation, effectively always calling himself a girl? Nothing against females, but my generation basically laughed at boys that personally identified with anything feminine(like wearing girls clothes, kissing boys, etc...). Hey, girls should be girls also, and probably generally don't want to be identified with anything masculine. Sometimes separate but equal IS valid and fair.

With me, I used "we" at times when it avoided conflict and I could identify with a small group. I used "you" when it could sound odd/embarasing, and it was generally true. I sometimes used "one". At other times, I think I always used I. My mother said a sentence that I said when I was about 18months, and it had the term "my daddy" in it, so I guess I spoke right then.

Still, the learning of language always amazed me. It makes you believe that someone like "daniel jackson" could actually exist!

Blackcat,

You earlier said something to the effect that your mother cried when you used "she", or your name. How did she react when you started using "I"?



BKBJONES
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06 Dec 2008, 11:23 pm

I've always used first person when referring to myself unless it is more grammatically correct to use second or third person.

The one that bugs the s... out of me is when I go out to some place, alone at Denny's at 3 in the morning, the server comes up and says, "So what are we having today?" I usually come up with something witty/sarcastic really quickly...including placing my order then saying, "The mouse in my pocket would like..." Most are too stupid to get it.



hotaru
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06 Dec 2008, 11:46 pm

Yes, I sometimes say 'we' instead of 'I'


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07 Dec 2008, 12:05 am

Pretty much most children with Autism will have this, and many adults with such too. Children with Asperger's can do it too, and adults (it's not as common as in Autism, but it's there)--those with Asperger's who do it are probably closer to Autism than Asperger's/NLD I'm betting.

Whilst I prefer to revert to how I first started talking, the pronoun problems and third person, I put on an "act" and speak "normally" in my writing and around others (professionals mainly).

When around people I'm comfortable with, I'll do these (or conversely, when I'm very uncomfortable):

I use "me" instead of "I'm"; me tired instead of I'm tired
I use "us" instead of "we're"; us are going out instead of we're going out
Daniel likes talking in third person, as it makes him feel more comfortable



rdos
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07 Dec 2008, 4:56 am

Callista wrote:
I bet it's a language thing. You learn language by talking to others, usually; so when the other person refers to you as "you", then you think that "you" is the word for yourself, rather than "I". Turning the language around in your head is a bit complicated and it makes sense that somebody who's not too good at language wouldn't get it right away.


Uhmm, not for me. AFAIK, I never mixed up "I" and "you". I only prefered to use "we" when I was alone talking to myself.



outlier
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07 Dec 2008, 5:53 am

Reversing pronouns and so on is more common in autistic children. I do this in adulthood simply because it grates less to say "My/me is hungry" and use do/your instead of you. But would never do that in formal situations.

In writing, it's very tempting to dispose of the pronoun I altogether, but that would grate more on me than sometimes writing it, due to the negative attention it would draw.



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07 Dec 2008, 6:30 am

outlier wrote:
In writing, it's very tempting to dispose of the pronoun I altogether, but that would grate more on me than sometimes writing it, due to the negative attention it would draw.


I know the feeling. For years I actually did this and was told to so by teachers when writing for science experiments in school. I've lost count of the number of times I've told to use the passive voice especially when writing the "Method" section of Science Reports. This just seemed to come naturally to me and other quiet/reserved people I knew. My word-processing package kept having alert boxes come up saying "Excessive use of the Passive Voice" whenever I ran a spell check.

We were told to write:
"An experiment was performed."

Instead of:
"I/we performed the experiment."

We were told that this was to "distance ourselves" from the experiment to make our method/findings seem unbiased and rigorous.

I remember some of the students getting furious because they were being marked down for using the active voice in their writing. They kept complaining, quite rightly that there wasn't some omnipotent being doing their science experiments for them at all. They had to do the work!

This use of the passive voice is changing. I have a recent book on Scientific Writing which advocates the use of the active voice. It seems to dismiss the passive voice as "pseudo-intellectual" and unnecessary because humans perform experiments not omnipotent beings!

If you read papers by researchers nowadays, many will use the active voice with:
"I performed the experiment." if there was one researcher and "We performed the experiment." if there were two or more researchers.

So stylistic attitudes are changing.

Academic writing, particularly in the Sciences seems to be shifting in style from the passive to the active voice. In English classes, the passive voice wasn't encouraged (whoops there I go again!).

Very interesting...



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07 Dec 2008, 7:09 am

Who said autistic people never use I? For all I know: Many of those who do not use it develop an understanding of it and quite a few may have used it at one point, even if they just felt the pressure to adhere to common standards despite that it gives them problems to sue that 'I'.

As for myself,
I use 'we' often instead of 'I' when I talk.

The 'I' just doesn't come up first when I speak about myself.


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07 Dec 2008, 8:56 am

AmberEyes wrote:

Perhaps I thought that "Hello Amber." was short for "Hello my name is Amber."

I wonder if some languages do actually use this shortened form of greeting?


Japanese uses a fairly short form. The full form of, "Hello, my name is Masato," would be, "Konnichiwa, boku no namae wa Masato desu." But it's used nowhere near as often as simply, "Konnichiwa, Masato desu," (with the desu being the ubiquitous 'to be' verb).

It's generally felt in Japanese that the shorter a sentence can be, the better.



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07 Dec 2008, 9:00 am

Danielismyname wrote:
I use "me" instead of "I'm"; me tired instead of I'm tired
I use "us" instead of "we're"; us are going out instead of we're going out


Interestingly, 'us' instead of of 'me' appears quite naturally in some British regional dialects. It's quite common to hear people in my area saying things like, "Give us it, then," with the 'us' only referring to one person, themselves.



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07 Dec 2008, 9:00 am

Sora wrote:
Who said autistic people never use I? For all I know: Many of those who do not use it develop an understanding of it and quite a few may have used it at one point, even if they just felt the pressure to adhere to common standards despite that it gives them problems to sue that 'I'.

As for myself,
I use 'we' often instead of 'I' when I talk.

The 'I' just doesn't come up first when I speak about myself.


Yes. Common standards were drummed into me during my education. Common standards ensure that people in a society can communicate with each other and to minimise misunderstandings. So there are advantages to following the rules.

I can't help but think of Queen Victoria: "We are not amused."

Was she trying to speak on behalf of her citizens as well as speak for herself?

I suppose if you're a monarch or in a position where you are supposedly responsible for a lot of people, you can get away with saying things like that.



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07 Dec 2008, 9:04 am

BKBJONES wrote:
I've always used first person when referring to myself unless it is more grammatically correct to use second or third person.

The one that bugs the s... out of me is when I go out to some place, alone at Denny's at 3 in the morning, the server comes up and says, "So what are we having today?" I usually come up with something witty/sarcastic really quickly...including placing my order then saying, "The mouse in my pocket would like..." Most are too stupid to get it.


That query in such a case usually indicates stupidity, and is often an attempt to insult the person being asked. Frankly, I don't like it.