JS Tip 427: The Rules II

From the Writing Workshops: The Rules II

We’ve been talking about “the rules” we learned in high school.

Last week, this week, and in the next few weeks, we’ll explore some of the rules we learned in high school and see how well they work.

The rule we learned in high school: You shouldn’t use personal pronouns. 


You can use personal pronouns.

You should use personal pronouns.

Personal pronouns make your writing personal. They add a human touch that readers appreciate and identify with.

Consider this example:

  1. We thought you’d like to increase your profits.

Notice the personal pronouns: we, you, your. Conversational. Comfortable. 


Now take the personal pronouns out of the example:

  1. Ajax International believes Acme Dynamics would like to increase profits.

Bleech. Cold. Distant. Impersonal.

Examine the advertisements around you. How many personal pronouns do you see? (A lot.)

Think about it.

What rules frustrate you? Let us know, and we’ll talk about them.

Wow. We love this stuff.

Mark Brooks