Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Tangential, but what in the hell is with the whole thing where company execs refuse to use "I" in a sentence? Read anything typed up by some founder or something, and you see sentence after sentence deliberately omitting self-reference. Here specifically: "If they have right to it then more than happy to comply"... If they have right to it then I am/we are more than happy to comply. Anytime someone posts email correspondence on HN, it's inevitably a conversation devoid of self-referential terminology, even in totally innocuous sentences. "More than happy to X. Concerned about the thing with Y. Call this afternoon after meeting with Z." It's totally annoying.



I remember reading an article a while back (couldn't find it through Google) that talked about how people with abusive tendencies (which this kind of tortured diatribe seems adjacent to) have an accompanying tendency to psychologically distance themselves from their actions by avoiding first-person constructions, eg. "and then it happened" instead of "and then I did it".

That being said, it sounds like the cause of the omissions of just the words of the first-person constructions this post uses is more likely to be rooted in English being Melih's second language.


Here's another example of what I'm talking about from a recent post on HN [0]. Specifically in that post, an email correspondence goes like this: "Thought sharing this framework with you prior to our convo would make it more efficient. Would love to get your perspective on this when we chat in the morning (your evening)."

See the weird omission of reference to self? Here's something I didn't originally intend to share... The reason I notice this is because I used to type emails like that. I don't know why I used to do that, but I eventually stopped doing it consciously because I thought it sounded weird, and years later noticed it in the situation I mentioned earlier. I find it annoying these days to read people doing it. I totally get what you're saying about ESL, but I'm referring to it happening outside of non-native English speakers. I'm interested in your initial suggestion, though. Thanks!

[0] https://entrepreneurs.maqtoob.com/my-cofounder-said-i-love-w...


The historical example that comes to mind is telegrams, where the sender was charged per word, and consequently people omitted as many words as possible while keeping the message on the right side of comprehensible. Sometimes just barely; Wiki gives this example telegram from Orville Wright:

"Success four flights thursday morning all against twenty one mile wind started from Level with engine power alone average speed through air thirty one miles longest 57 seconds inform Press home Christmas"

I sometimes omit first-person pronouns and some other words when writing text messages, because I find it considerably more difficult to type there. The charitable interpretation I would give is that, if someone writes emails like this, either they're writing on an inconvenient mobile platform now, or they're used to writing on such a platform and write that way even with a proper keyboard.


I know that after I'd spent several years working in Japan and then returned to the United States, both my written and spoken language (English, in this case) had a marked (and remarked upon) paucity of self-referential pronouns.

I'm guessing, in this case, that this is just an ESL thing.


The use of "I" vs "we" has been studied by a lot of people in a lot of different contexts, and intelligent people have arrived at very different conclusions. So I have no idea what a complete lack of attribution means, but I'm leaning towards it being an extreme version of "we". I believe to be an avoidance of personal responsibility and a hamfisted attempt at emotional manipulation, because it has absolutely no influence over logically guided decision making.


With sentences like 'How is that making internet safer???"' I think a simpler explanation would be that he's Posting On Forums While Drunk.


He's speaking English as a second language.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melih_Abdulhayo%C4%9Flu


He's Turkish. English isn't his first language.


Given that, I think it is his use of emphatic punctuation throughout the post which gives the impression that he is emotionally tilted, and not speaking in a professional capacity. He is using his public platform to deliver an impassioned rant. I don't think that's a result of him being a non-native speaker.


Assuming that English is his nth language, he could have utilized the services of a proof-reader.


The name Melih sounds Turkish maybe? I'm too lazy to look. But that's a characteristic esl quirk...




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: