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Second vs. third person

Apr 24, 1998 08:04 AM
by K Paul Johnson

Hey gang,

Something I noticed in David Green's latest post is a pattern
I've observed with Dallas too. That is, responding only
obliquely to things I have written, and not using my name even
when referring to me in the third person. Another pattern on
the list has been people who will use a name when referring to me
in the third person, but not directly address me or a point I

So, a general question: what does it mean when people are not on
"speaking terms" to the extent of addressing one directly, but
are motivated enough to comment on what one says in the third
person, sometimes avoiding the use of one's name?

And, a resolution: henceforth whenever I have a comment on a post
by anyone, I will address him or her in the second person. Have
already done so with David, and will do so again. David, what is
going on with your sarcastic attacks on ACT? Don't you think
you'd have more impact if you gave reasoned, detailed
explanations rather than just venting hostility and ridicule?

And to Dallas: although the letter you wrote me in late 1993 or
so was the most hostile piece of mail I have ever received, I'm
willing to put that aside and talk to you as a real person rather
than a generic "mean old orthodox Theosophist." Henceforth if I
have comments on your contributions here I will address them to
you directly. It will be up to you to decide how to respond.


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