18 May 2008
My problem is with pronouns. The use of pronouns in conversation, especially gossip, is proliferating. It's understandable that we try to take shortcuts in our conversations to speed things up, or to show that we understand each other in a unique, friendly, way. However, such use of pronouns causes mad confusion and hinders productive conversations. Not good, and, thus, Paul's Pet Peeve #4.
For example, start to pay attention to the conversations you have...
You think to yourself, "Oh fun - conversations! Aren't I glad I'm speaking with the person I'm speaking with?! Yeah!"
"Oh - what's this?" you think to yourself. "This person I'm speaking with has started to talk about somebody else or some problem in his life. Oh now he's talking about a friend of his who knows someone else he knows. Now he's talking about how he used to know him, but he didn't know the other guy, and he wasn't helping the situation because he missed a couple of appointments..."
"????" you think to yourself. ")$#@#*^@%!!" you think to yourself. "Why can't the person I'm speaking with stop using pronouns??? Maybe then I'd have a fighting chance to understand what or who we're talking about!"
We've got to fix this.
Now just replace whatever pronoun you're itching to use with a proper noun or just try to be specific with whatever you're talking about. Instead of "he," use "John." Instead of "it," use "the treasure chest."
Practice following this tip if you get into a detailed conversation and everyone will be the less peeved for it!