Sunday, March 08, 2015

"Draft" from The New York Times, Part 5: On Second Person

This post by Ehud Havazelet is worth a read, not only for creative writers but for business and technical writers who claim, wrongly, they should write exclusively in the third person. After all, when giving instructions, we are using the second person, as you is understood (e.g., "Enter your ID and PIN ... Click on the link ... Press F4"), and readers see through executives'  veiled attempt at sounding important when writing in the third person (e.g., "the Company has decided") when they really mean the first person ("we have decided"). 

For sure, writing in second person is unusual, but reading the post will put this practice in perspective.