Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

01 April 2008

On Nixing 'We'

Well THAT was unnecessary. What's wrong with the royal "We", particularly on a multiuser site with an opinionated but like-minded group of people controlling it?
Nothing, in our opinion. We use it all the time. It's neither deceptive nor presumptuous -- rather, in your case, it's entirely accurate. We regret your decision and mourn our loss...
Steve and I decided to stop using the royal "We!" on Adrants. That quotation is one of the comments we received following the announcement.

I guess I should explain this whole "we" thing. When a one-man news publication wants to  sound like he's got untold legions of corporate suits behind him, he uses statements like "we decided" and "we think" instead of the singular.

"We" has serious mojo. It's my impression "we" can do any or all of these things:
  • Put gallons of weight behind otherwise-worthless subjective claims
  • Minimize the necessity of having to do research, because one* assumes a committee of people is better informed than just a single dude
  • Make your organization seem bigger than it is
  • Give articles a uniform tone. (When multiple writers on one website use "we," it lends a sense of harmony)
It might just be my imagination, but I think nixing "we" will force me to be more accountable for what I say under my own name. That'll be a challenge, but a useful one.

On the other hand, I worry that emphasizing individual personalities will exchange a once-unified choir (a "voice of the brand," if you will) for a stage of divas -- the sensation that multiple people are vying for the attention of one reader. 

Which is why I posted that comment at the top. I'm nervous about letting go of this security blanket.

Well, nothing for it but to try.

*Also a great cloaker.

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