Don’t Speak For We

The Dish

Jeremy Gordon examines the reliance on the collective pronoun in making an argument:

Over time, the “royal we” has made its way from the mouths of Queen Victoria and Margaret Thatcher into our writing. At best, it seems a crutch, while at worst it’s an assumed arrogance. Here’s but one example from The New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones, writing a jeremiad against Jay-Z:

However thick the darkness, we drag ourselves into arguments, up to lecterns, because we have not let go of each other yet. We still think we can fix a thing that shows no sign of ever being fixed.

… [I]t’s clear this isn’t a literal case of the royal “we.” (It’s hard to imagine any music writer being that arrogant.) Instead, it’s a rhetorical trick to make the reader say “I guess I do drag myself into the argument despite the thickness of the darkness!” Because with…

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