Sunday, April 17, 2011

Me, Myself & I - Three's a Crowd

What in the world does the post title have with reviewing?

Let me digress for a moment. George Orwell in 1946 wrote an eloquent treatise on the English Language

** ii) Never us a long word where a short one will do.

(iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

(iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.**

I've included a link for you to enjoy at your leisure. What is there to enjoy? I found it humorous that he calls the word ROMANTIC a meaningless word. Not that I agree. lol

But, why have I included this link to Mr. Orwell's writing? Because of example #(iii).
Again, I ask you, "What is a review?"

The answer I'm looking for is, "An opinion."


So, when a reviewer is writing their review, sharing their opinion, would it stand to reason that the phrase, "In my opinion" is redundant? Isn't the whole review your opinion? Think about that.

The following may seem trivial and for many reviewers it's not even on their radar. It ties into the previous point.

A reader knows, for example, that Xeranthemum is writing the review and I'm writing my opinion about the book so anything included are my thoughts, viewpoints, rationalities, justifications, feelings and observations.

Why then would I use "When I as a reader ..." or "I myself..." ? I'm already writing as me, wouldn't the reader know that?

Can someone explain to me why using those terms might be acceptable? Is there another way to express them that wouldn't be redundant? Any suggestions?


Stormy said...

I think we tend to want to use phrases like "I myself" or "As for myself..." to make the reveiw feel more personal and less generalized. I've tried to stop use as many "I and me" type prounouns but sometimes the sentence feels like it flows better with an I, me or myself than to say "the reader" or something just as generic. I think moderation (as with most things) is the key. Don't get over personal and don't be too generic.

Xeranthemum said...

I think "I think" is fine. lol

It's when you refer to yourself as if you weren't already writing from your POV. Saying I felt happy, or I feel let down, or I think it's bogus, - are all perfectly fine as a self-reference.
Sharing what affects you can only come across as personal - and generic is boring. So yes, moderation is key. Like chocolate.

Anonymous said...

YES! Perfectly put!

Xeranthemum said...

Thank you, Carnation!