RE: You VS One

Subject: RE: You VS One
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>, "Keith Hansen" <KRH -at- weiland-wfg -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2008 15:40:48 -0600

Lauren wrote:

> I think that they are both yucky.
> The first person imperative is,
> "Register by October 15 to vote in the November election."

That's second person imperative. The implied subject is "you" -- the
person to whom the sentence is addressed.

There is no first person imperative (well, maybe the voice in my

> But that is not really directed to the subject, which in this case is
> voters.
> I think "you" and "one" are both best avoided by referring to the
> directly.
> "Voters who want to vote in the November election, must register by
> October
> 15."

That's third person -- which is fine, but it makes the subject someone
other than the person to whom the sentence is addressed. Thus it
doesn't, in Leonard's words, "draw the reader into the text or evoke a
response from the reader."

It also has a slight logic problem: they're not voters before they
register. And that comma has got to go.

IMHO, of course. ;-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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You VS One: From: Keith Hansen
RE: You VS One: From: Lauren

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