We've -- the new euphemism?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Jan 15 19:46:44 UTC 2014

In his news conference on the GWB (that is, Bridge) scandal, Gov.
Christe used the word "I" or first person singular pronouns 273 times
[Slate].  After some "teasing" about it, in his State of the Union
message yesterday he used "we" or "we've" 97 times [NYTimes, today].

(1)  "We['ve] is the new euphemism for "I['ve].

(2)   Christie's ego has apparently diminished a bit.  The frequency
of the first person (singular) in his 110-minute news conference was
2.48 I's/minute.  The frequency of the first person (plural) in his
45-minute State speech was  2.15 We's/minute.  (Do we have a term for
a new measure of egotism?)  A decrease of about 13% -- approximately
equal to the percent of persons recently polled whose opinion of
Christie had decreased (16%).

(Of course, he's till using the "Mistakes have been made" euphemism,
although yesterday he added "clearly".)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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