Isn’t it proper to use first and second person in content writing?
For example, when I write an introductory paragraph and give some real life examples or experiences to build up the content that follows. I think it’s easier for the readers to relate to it.
Recently I used some online proofreading app and it suggested that I should avoid words such as, I , We , You , Yours , us etc.
I believe that if the content is conversational, it is more interesting.
When I wrote for a content company I was taught that second person (you, your) is the standard preference. This is because most readers prefer it that way since it is less formal and directed at them whereas first person is often still a little too informal, depending on what you are writing and where. And it also depends on client preference, of course. Some people do want the third person perspective for formal presentations. It really just depends on things like where you are posting the content, who you are writing for (clients), and who you are writing for (target audience). But as I said, I was taughtvthatvfor web content, the general preference tends to be second person.
HP is interesting here. If you want a high score or niche sites for your article you have to go all strict without first person. But if you make a bio making you and expert they are more lenient. Post Sunday 1st bad. Post Tues. maybe just fine.
Thanks Shanmarie for answering the question! I also believe that there is nothing wrong in using second person, but the proofreaders said otherwise.
Thanks for your helpful clarification!
Unless it is a story, you should concentrate on writing in the second person. But, it sometimes becomes unavoidable to include some first-person phrases or sentences also and I do not think any harm in it.
Thanks Venkatachari ji for your response!
I agree with you but the proofreading app always wants me to change or rewrite the words, such as- you. yours. we. us and so on.
I use only the Grammarly app for my proofreading work and it is a very good thing. I never encountered such problems as to the first person or second person language uses. It corrects only when you use a half of it in the first person and rest second
I think it varies today and at times all three may be used in an article. I know I do. I think it is more central to the topic, the target audience, and the tone in the sense of formality. However, I am no expert. Curious I did some exploring and discovered this article for essay writing. It strongly suggests the third person. But, not every article we write will be an essay. At the end it gives exceptions to their recommendation. That may interest you. Here is a link to it if interested:
https://www.kibin.com/essay-writing-blo … n-writing/
I am curious of which editing app you used. One I use is ProWritingAid and it counts pronouns. It does not check for writing person. I was wondering if that was what the app you used does.
With ProWritingAid you have six settings possible. They are academic, business, creative, general, technical, and web copy. All of them except academic recommend for pronouns target 4 – 15% of total word count. They also count initial pronouns or those that begin a sentence. That recommendation is no more than 30% of sentences. With academic they recommend no more than 2% for pronouns. It also says to avoid using ‘we, us, and our’.
I checked two articles in general and academic. I had no queue indicating there was a problem with general, but did with academic. You can try that app for free with the article you checked to see what it says for pronouns. Note: To try it for free you have to sign up with them.
Thanks Tim Mitchell for your detailed answer and clarifications! I have used Proofread Bot.com for one of my article related to personal health. Thanks for suggesting another one in your response. I didn’t know there were categories too. Thanks again
Tim, this one looks very interesting and I should go through it. I also never heard of such app with so many options. I should check my Grammarly app also to see whether it also has some options like that. Thanks for your useful advice.
ProWritingAid can be overwhelming because it checks so many things. You have to play with it and realize your style is important too. The info at their site is valuable. I use Grammarly for grammar first then use PWA for more hints.
There is an interesting field of forensics that deals with linguistic articulation. You can tell if a person is from a distinctive region, You can tell the level of education. You can pretty much get their age. Not too hard to get their vocation. For sure you can tell ESL. North and South are interesting from Korea to America to Vietnam and to India. Someone from the South of the USA is more likely to use first person whereas one from NYC just might be more comfortable with second or third person.
It is fascinating to evaluate Clancy and Hemingway. I read stuff from Cambridge and Oxford. And you can tell the difference as American English goes more with the familiar and Queen's English is more formal.
My whole point that took me so long to get to is that apps suck raw eggs like a weasel. Can you imagine Samuel Longhorne Clemons writing about Tom Sawyer being grammar checked? Edgar Allen Poe being spell checked. Is it behaviour or behavior?
Apps are not human and should be avoided at even a high cost.
Agree completely Ericdierker.It’s the first time I am doing proofreading of my article, since it was unfeatured by HP and I was advised to proofread it. I sincerely believe that writers have their own style and if it’s grammatically correct it’s fine
Very true, Eric. I always wonder why apps try to correct such spelling mistakes like humour and humor. Why can't you address a US person with your UK spellings? The apps are too much robotic.
Friend, my readers want me to be me. And then we see who thinks my writing idiosyncratic nature works for us as fellows thinking. One should not change the leopard's spots to make him appear a cheetah.
Sorry, Eric, my brother. The question in above comment was not addressed to you. It is for the general public like me who want to write English in a mixture of both the US and UK styles. You are quite Okay with your own style of writing which I love
Venkatachari I always think your comments are in the spirit of very fine general thought. You never offend or cause angst. Do you know of any app where you can plug in regional dialect? That would be fun to create.
I am not aware of plugins or any proficient with even the basic things when coming to computer knowledge. I found the Grammarly also only by chance and found it to be very useful.
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