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  1. #1
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Question "i" used as "I" in articles and editorials

    Hello,

    I have seen that some writers use "i" (lower case "i") when referring to themselves. Is this a new trend? I used to see it in the Op-ed page of a local newspaper, but now I see it even in an article in The Economist. [Edit: Sorry, it is not an article in The Economist. It is an article in one of India's national newspapers.]

    For example, in the article titled The Immensity of India, the writer Adam Roberts, who is the South Asia Bureau Chief of The Economist, also uses the lower case "i".

    "
    Being a foreign writer in India may just be the best job in the world. As The Economist's
    South Asia
    correspondent, my brief is broad — and India is generous back to me. Free to potter in distant corners,
    i
    get to tell the world what

    i
    see going on. Outsiders have a great appetite to know."

    Thank you
    Last edited by Olympian; 13-May-2013 at 21:07. Reason: Clarification about where the article was seen

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: "i" used as "I" in articles and editorials

    It's not a trend I am aware of. I wouldn't recommend you follow it.

    I sometimes see it online, but I assume that is because people are used to smartphones that are, well, smart enough to automatically capitalize "I" when you type it. (And then get lazy when they type on some other device.)

    For this to be in an actual article in an actual newspaper is appalling.

  3. #3
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: "i" used as "I" in articles and editorials

    I hope that is not a trend.

  4. #4
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Default Re: "i" used as "I" in articles and editorials

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    It's not a trend I am aware of. I wouldn't recommend you follow it.

    I sometimes see it online, but I assume that is because people are used to smartphones that are, well, smart enough to automatically capitalize "I" when you type it. (And then get lazy when they type on some other device.)

    For this to be in an actual article in an actual newspaper is appalling.
    @SoothingDave, thanks for your response. I don't feel like using the lower case "i" . By the way, your guess/assumption regarding auto-correction is quite good. I did not think of it this way.

    This is quite common for articles appearing in the Op-ed pages of The Times of India. Since this is an ongoing thing, I can't imagine that they forgot to proofread it.

    Another thing I noticed is that in the Op-ed pages, the writers sometimes refer to themselves as 'one'. (I can't find an actual occurrence of this right now, but, for example, "one finds is amusing" instead of "I find it amusing". ) Do writers use it like this abroad? Or it is something archaic?

    Thank you

  5. #5
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: "i" used as "I" in articles and editorials

    When a writer uses "one", he is not referring to himself; he is referring to a generic person. The alternative is "you" but that can be confusing if one assumes that "you" means the reader/listener.

  6. #6
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Default Re: "i" used as "I" in articles and editorials

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    When a writer uses "one", he is not referring to himself; he is referring to a generic person. The alternative is "you" but that can be confusing if one assumes that "you" means the reader/listener.
    @MikeNewYork, thank you for the explanation! It makes sense now! When I talk to people and say "you", I usually clarify that "I don't mean "you" as in <name-of-the-person-I-am-talking-to>". Would it be strange/pompous to use "one" while speaking? I may not use it since, like me, there may be others, who won't understand it if I use it. ["Even if you do learn to speak correct English, to whom are you going to speak it?" - Clarence Darrow]

  7. #7
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: "i" used as "I" in articles and editorials

    Some people consider the use of "one" to be pompous, but in actuality it is clearer.

    Example:

    When you spend 5 nights a wek in a bar, you are probably an alcoholic. (The recipent may be offended.)
    When one spends 5 nights a week in a bar, one is probably an alholic. (Clearer)

    It can get silly if the sentence is very long and "one" gets repeated over and over. But there is an old rule: when one uses one in a sentence, one must continue using one until the end.

  8. #8
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Default Re: "i" used as "I" in articles and editorials

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Some people consider the use of "one" to be pompous, but in actuality it is clearer.

    Example:

    When you spend 5 nights a wek in a bar, you are probably an alcoholic. (The recipent may be offended.)
    When one spends 5 nights a week in a bar, one is probably an alholic. (Clearer)

    It can get silly if the sentence is very long and "one" gets repeated over and over. But there is an old rule: when one uses one in a sentence, one must continue using one until the end.
    @MikeNewYork, thanks for the examples.

  9. #9
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: "i" used as "I" in articles and editorials

    Sorry about the typos. I was using a small notebook with a small keyboard and small screen.

  10. #10
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Default Re: "i" used as "I" in articles and editorials

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Sorry about the typos. I was using a small notebook with a small keyboard and small screen.
    It's OK. I understand.

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