Addressing the reader?

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zephyr36
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Addressing the reader?

Postby zephyr36 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:29 pm

What's the consensus on the occasional use of "you" and 2nd person? Something like "While you may think..." I know it's a little hard without context, but what's the overally consensus?

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MdmMoisel
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Re: Addressing the reader?

Postby MdmMoisel » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:37 am

Thats probably not a good idea. You don't know what the reader is thinking or what her perspective is, so how can you speak for her? Specially when you've sentences like 'i know you may think'..If I were reading it, I'd be like..whoa!!

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homestyle28
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Re: Addressing the reader?

Postby homestyle28 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:27 am

I always think that those kind of sentences invite the reader to think "and I may not". If you have to keep the sentence, use the impersonal "one might think".

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patrickd139
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Re: Addressing the reader?

Postby patrickd139 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:43 am

MdmMoisel wrote:Thats probably not a good idea. You don't know what the reader is thinking or what her perspective is, so how can you speak for her? Specially when you've sentences like 'i know you may think'..If I were reading it, I'd be like..whoa!!

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downing
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Re: Addressing the reader?

Postby downing » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:32 am

homestyle28 wrote:I always think that those kind of sentences invite the reader to think "and I may not". If you have to keep the sentence, use the impersonal "one might think".


Yes

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northwood
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Re: Addressing the reader?

Postby northwood » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:29 am

one might think not

keep your original thought, but change the entire sentence. Dont assume anything about the reader.

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ahduth
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Re: Addressing the reader?

Postby ahduth » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:30 am

homestyle28 wrote:I always think that those kind of sentences invite the reader to think "and I may not". If you have to keep the sentence, use the impersonal "one might think".


I always think to myself, this person sounds confident. Future litigator?

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homestyle28
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Re: Addressing the reader?

Postby homestyle28 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:33 am

ahduth wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:I always think that those kind of sentences invite the reader to think "and I may not". If you have to keep the sentence, use the impersonal "one might think".


I always think to myself, this person sounds confident. Future litigator?


I suppose that's the other side of the coin. I've always gotten conflicting feedback about confidence and tone in writing. Do you say, "It seems to me that X is the case" or "Clearly, X is the case"? Might come down to personal tastes.




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