Re: Use of the first person

Subject: Re: Use of the first person
From: Iain Harrison <iharriso -at- SCTCORP -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 12:32:39 GMT

Clearly, to use the first person is an admission of humanity. Not all
humans are infallible. Some can even be subjective. The inescapable
conclusion is that any document using the first person is far from
authoritative.

The writer can only conclude that to mention the fact that mere humans
are generally responsible for the most telling and perceptive insights
would not be well received in certain areas. The writer will summarise
the reasons for this below:

One's writing style may be influenced by a desire to produce clear,
readable user-friendly copy. Such desires are unprofessional, and can
only lead to a diminution of the respect given to the conclusions of
the research team's work.

If an author were to may the text clear and understandable, the
general public may be put in a position of being able to read it, and
possibly even to question the veracity of the conclusions. Such an
outcome could do grave damage to the perceived integrity of the
research institute, and endanger the professional reputations of
staff.

The writer is of the opinion that use of the first person is essential
to avoid, and wherever possible, complex and confusing sentence
structure and obscure technical terms should be encouraged, as well as
use of the passive voice, if documents are to remain difficult to
read, unfriendly and user-hostile.

Scripts submitted in any other style should be rejected, preferably
accompanied by an explanatory letter in Latin.

;-)

Iain




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