I Personally Feel That...

Drew Danielson andrew.danielson at CMU.EDU
Thu Sep 12 13:06:21 UTC 2002

As an intensive?  *I* *PERSONally* *FEEL*....?  Adds
authenticity/veracity to the personalization of feelings?

OR - to make a distinction between 'personal' feelings and 'official'
feelings?  As in, "I personally feel that we should flay alive anyone
who might even possibly have been indirectly involved in the planning
and execution of this disaster, but my offical feelings are more
compassionate and politically correct." (?)

The subsequent relative clause could give a big clue to the context of
'personally' here.

Grant Barrett wrote:
> Late Tuesday or early Monday as I listened to the BBC before slipping
> off into sleepytime, I heard a string of interviews with Americans who
> were affected by the World Trade Center attacks. In clip after clip, at
> least five total, the interviewee used the construction, "I personally
> feel..." or something similar.
> What is the function of "personally" here? Why, in this circumstance,
> does that particular word seem called for? I don't ask this
> facetiously, but are these people in the habit of using "I" to
> represent some group--a family or business?
> (It sounded like the interviews were taken at different times, although
> under the same circumstances. I wonder if the interviewees were not
> overhearing each other give interviews and so unconsciously mimicking
> each other.)
> --
> Grant Barrett
> gbarrett at worldnewyork.org
> Small Business Apple Macintosh Support in New York City
> http://www.worldnewyork.org/


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