Sunday, 18 July 2010

iI

Wunna my all-time fave internetians (mine, and anyone's who digs Texan tacophile on-line feminism) has been embarking on a one-brain-campaign to illustrate the rhetorical limitations of the first person singular nominative pronoun, which pronoun is the great columnar phallogothingy, I. Around this phallogothingy, on this blog, have clustered divers and interesting claims. Such as:

1. that "I" is redundant, that putting an idea (e.g., X) under a name on a blog proclaims X to be the belief and the opinion and yea, the very synapse-spawn of the writer, regardless of whether or not the writer prefaces her claim, "X", with, "I asseverate that...". Also sprach mine high school English teacher, steering his feckless charges into the faux-objectivist rhetorical quagmires of agentless passive verbs, polysyllabic Greco-Latinate nouns, and nary a first - or second - person pronoun across the entire barren tundra of our Thomas Hardy essays. From this quagmire the emergence of the trusty Alexis is yet to transpire (to give you a fairly representative, if horrific, example of the sort of construction my high school English teacher encouraged);

2. that an "I think etc" disarms the idea, implies a subjective claim, when the author actually means an objective one: and therefore either weakens the claim or - and this is what makes "I think" rhetorical genius, imho - disables objections. Whereas you might be the world's most cogent authority on why X is untrue, there's no arguing with the claim I think X;

3. that personal narrative enjoys a long and illustrious history alongside such feminist activities as outing the oppressor and asking one's Sister to pass the muffins. This is whether the oppressor is one's boss, close relation, next-door neighbour, bus-driver, or local aluminium-based vaginal deodorant merchant. And also regardless of the moral status of the muffins.

Anyway, someone should tell all this to Apple. iMac was one thing; iBook, on the other hand (no, the same hand), was another. iPod sounded so cute - in a cetacean, beany sort of way - that I was beyond protest; iPad, meanwhile, so gloriously naive to the suggestion of menstrual equipage I almost want to buy a gross of them. But come the day that Apple manufactures its first wireless hominid central nervous system, it's going down in a welter of controversy. iI? I mean, really.

9 comments:

TimT said...

I agree! I think! I mean...

Ooooooooh dear.

TimT said...

Er, what one means to say is, Aye Eye, cap'n!

Dale Slamma said...

Good lord, that was momentarily confusing.

Dan the VespaMan said...

Very risky business making statements containing "I" within. It establishes connection of thought with owner in a time when aloofness is preferable.

Much better instead to use the term "One" as in the phrase "One thinks one is better than I". It is then indeterminate as to who exactly the person known as "One" really is.

Mitzi G Burger said...

I have found it difficult to explain the omission of "I" in essays penned by youngsters, but will consider the issue further with my fellow iIs.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

There's a species of sloth called the ai. I give you this factoid in gratitude for your comments, which are all far more coherent and legible than my post.

Ampersand Duck said...

Ah, you've been missed.

(Wv = oodling)

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Thanks for missing me, Ampersand la Duck. I've missed this, but been a bit overcome with crises of meaning. x

exford legs said...

time to get il, for mine.