Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Third Person

We often look askance as people who refer to themselves in the third person. Charles de Gaulle, Hercule Poirot, and Bob Dole are examples of that quirk.

I'm recently begun to hold greater respect for that habit although adopting it is not on my list. The reason for my change in opinion is the realization that the affectation may not be a sign of egotism but instead may serve as evidence of self-discipline. It is as if the individual is deferring to an image much as de Gaulle did when he explained to an associate that although Charles de Gaulle might like to do a particular thing General de Gaulle could not. It is a sort of out-of-body experience that restricts rather than exults the importance of the person's feelings.

If you are going to use a third person, let it be a noble one.

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