As a software developer I find myself using it all the time. Resistance is futile; it just seems the right way to express myself in a comment.

]]>@mark, it would seem to depend, at minimum, on whether the use of the 2pl as the formal in a formal-familiar system actually has anything to do with its number. does anyone know of any evidence that the formal forms arose out of customs of addressing individual people as if they were groups?

]]>excessive empiricism

Really?

Excuse me while I go smack my head repeatedly.

]]>Using rhetoric suitable for addressing the nation as a whole when the particular text makes more sense for addressing the smaller audience consisting of ones own supporters is probably a common feature of Presidential rhetoric, and I would not tread down the dangerous path of presuming the current incumbent is more irksome on this score than his predecessors without conducting the sort of empirical investigation it seems clear Fish did not do. And treating the partisan views of ones own supporters as if they were the consensus views of the whole population is at least a more democratic failing than the Caesarism suggested by Fish.

]]>Pres. Obama can be legitimately criticized for for packing the Justice Dept. with professional extortionists, for failing to prosecute war criminals. Dwelling on his pronouns, as on other trivialities, is a *sophist*icated way of distracting us from those real failings, equally as from his successes.

Slight topic drift: The pronoun "we" is frequently used in mathematical writing, in constructions like "We apply the Hahn-Banach theorem to conclude…" or "We note that all zeros of this polynomial are simple zeros…"

My hypothesis is that the first person is avoided here because the claims are nothing to do with me the author specifically, but more along the lines of "At this point, people in general can use the Hahn-Banach theorem to…" or "Readers or sentient agents may note that the zeros of the polynomial are…"

It seems to me that this could be taken as meaning "You, the reader, and I"

]]>My hypothesis is that the first person is avoided here because the claims are nothing to do with *me the author* specifically, but more along the lines of "At this point, people in general can use the Hahn-Banach theorem to…" or "Readers or sentient agents may note that the zeros of the polynomial are…"