How We Use Pronouns Now: You, Me, and Everyone We Know – Entertainment – The Atlantic Wire

For those interested in language and writing, fascinating account of how pronoun use has change over the years, particularly the shift towards me, you and I from we and us). Quote:

You could probably guess that increases in you, me, and I indicate growing individualism and decreasing collectivism in American culture. Comparatively, in Asia and Latin America, [psychology professor Jean M.] Twenge told us, there’s a lot less emphasis on the I in favor of the we, and often pronouns are dropped—those countries reflect more of a collectivist culture as well. As for you, Twenge says, it also reflects an individualism; it means the author is speaking directly to the reader. Twenge writes in her paper, “In personal correspondence and speech, first person singular pronouns (I, me) are associated with increased individual self-focus, low status, honesty, depression, and a more personal, expressive style. Higher status people use more first person plural (we, us) and second person (you, your) pronouns.”

How We Use Pronouns Now: You, Me, and Everyone We Know – Entertainment – The Atlantic Wire.

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