Re: "One" is the loneliest pronoun

Subject: Re: "One" is the loneliest pronoun
From: Beverly Parks <bparks -at- HUACHUCA-EMH1 -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 1995 07:49:10 MST

SANDRA CHARKER <scharker -at- OZEMAIL -dot- COM -dot- AU> wrote
(I snipped some stuff)
Still, the sentence:

"One's writing improves with time..."

doesn't sound to me like a personal revelation; it sounds
like a neutral generalisation, particularly considering
that it was said by a teacher of writing talking about
course content. So, how does it sound to other people?

== I agree with Sandra. To me, "one" is used as a general
pronoun applicable to just about anybody.

And would a sentence like this sound ok in a software manual:

"One uses online Help less with experience.."

It wouldn't here -- one's audience would collapse in helpless
mockery. I can't seriously imagine it appearing in any manual
from the US, Canada, the UK*, or New Zealand that I've ever
encountered? But why not?

== I also agree with Sandra on this. "One" is too *impersonal*
when the goal is to have the reader perceive you are addressing
him/her directly.

=*= Beverly Parks =*= bparks -at- huachuca-emh1 -dot- army -dot- mil =*=
=*= "Unless otherwise stated, all comments are my own. =*=
=*= I am not representing my employer in any way." =*=

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