"One" as a grammatical construct

Subject: "One" as a grammatical construct
From: DIANA PATTERSON <DPATTERSON -at- MTROYAL -dot- AB -dot- CA>
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 1995 19:22:46 -0600

Sandra Charker asked if "One" is used for the vague "you" or for "they." No,
it usually is not. And, alas, it cannot easily be used for He, She, or It (I
hate your slashers). "One" has been used for time out of mind by the English
to mean "me". And there is often a suggestion of personal revelation in the
use of "one". That personal is what keeps people from feeling comfortable
with it. And, as I point out to my students (grammarless, idealess, and
pointless non-writers as I get them from high school), it is not a good idea
to mix "one" with "she" or "he" or "they". One knows better than to do that
;-).
Diana Patterson
DPatterson -at- MtRoyal -dot- AB -dot- CA


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