Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Referring To Yourself In The Second Person: An FAQ

1. What is the second person?
The second person refers to the use of the pronoun 'you'.

2. Should I be referring to myself in the second person?
Absolutely. Traditional pronouns, I and we, have become tired and lame. Some have turned to the third person as an alternative, referring to themselves by their own name and the like, but this fad has run it's course and joined the first person as passe. The second person transcends the implied limitations of other forms of address allowing a degree of intimacy and urgency that would otherwise be impossible.

3. How do I do it?
Easy. When referring to yourself, simply replace the word "I' with the word 'you'. For example, if asked what you'd like for breakfast, instead of, "I'd like some pancakes", respond, "You'd like some pancakes."

4. Isn't that confusing?
Those who lack a certain level of cultural awareness and sophistication may become confused, which is all the more reason to declare your independence from these philistines as soon as possible.

5. So when you say 'your independence' are you referring to me or you?

6. I guess I'm just still not getting it. Or would that be, you guess you're still not getting it?
Imagine narrating a story so the audience is made to feel 'in the moment'. Ex. "You're walking down the street, you see someone, you feel them wishing they we're as cool and culturally aware as you." This way the audience is able to fully embrace the 'experience' of being the speaker and the speaker asserts that this experience is worthy of being experienced first hand (via the second person).

7. I just tried... Sorry, You just tried it on your wife and she told you to stop acting like a jackass.
Being on the grammatical bleeding edge and embracing emerging concepts ahead of the masses may have consequences for home and work relationships. Those worth knowing will adapt, and those who fail merely chain themselves to a lower societal echelon.

8. And you really don't think this makes you sound like an idiot?
Which you are you referring to? If you mean me, no, I sound incredibly sophisticated. If you mean you, then I can only recommend following the guidelines above as a means of elevating your speech.

9. But see, it's confusing. No one ever knows who you're really referring to.
You means you, and you is everyone.

10. Is there a place where I, I mean you, can practice until you're ready to try it in the real world?
There are weekly second person support meetings in most major cities to help deal with common issues that stem from embracing this evolution, i.e. beatings, firings, divorce. (You host the one in NYC if anyone wants to stop by)

You enjoyed answering these questions, and if there's anything you can do to be of further assistance, people should feel free to contact you.

You wish you all good luck.


Heather said...

Who do you think you are?!?!?! And by you, I mean you, and not me...ack, I give up. I'm just not cool enough for this trend.

Wyrfu said...

You dare not comment...

Herb said...

It's like when my wife told me she couldn't look my son in the face because she thought he had been masturbating to porn on the computer in the office. I had already confessed to engaging in such activities myself on occasion & that it was no big deal. She said that the thought of both of us doing it in the same room (at different times of coarse) repulsed her. I told her it was like your parents having sex. It's ok, you know it happens... you just don't think about it. She got mad at me commenting on her parents having sex. I tried to explain to her that when I said "you're parents" I didn't necessarily mean YOU'RE parents, I meant you're parents, or my parents, or anyones parents! She was not receptive to my explaination. We are still not talking... oh, well.

Debbie said...

Just came across this '05 post of yours when I was looking up information on the increased use of referring to self in the 2nd person. I'd like to quote a couple of things from your post in an article-- how can I get in touch with you about this? Thanks!

Unknown said...


Quote away.

Unknown said...

That was awesome...oh the the things you stumble onto while on the net. lmfao!!!

Anonymous said...

P malone, from nations capital, Def got it, dug it, gone

~d said...

You really enjoyed the simple rules you need to speak in the second person.

Unknown said...

Your wife left you long ago for far more dire peculiarities than this. :(

Jase said...

Very funny.

The Alien said...

My gastronomic satiety has admonished me that it will expell all its contents after reading this

The Alien said...

My gastronomic satiety has admonished me that it will expell all its contents after reading this

Anonymous said...

Can I say to someone - are you referring to yourself

Lani said...

He's the reason I'm even here. ��. Loved this.

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