The Banned 2nd Person
Although it’s technically not bad grammar, writing 2nd-person sentences that address the reader as “you” is banned from academic writing.
Incorrect: You are far more likely to be pulled over for speeding if you are a teenager.
Correct: Teenagers are far more likely to be pulled over for speeding.
Notice that the best possible solution is to substitute a class noun for as the subject to replace the banned “You.” You’re only more likely to be pulled over if you’re a teenager.
Fails for Grammar
Using you, your, or yours, in academic essays for this class is a “Fails For Grammar” (FFG) offense. Practice several techniques to eliminate the 2nd person from your work, and always do a page search for “you” before posting.
Academic essays are arguments, but they’re persuasive, not contentious. We don’t lecture our readers, preach to them, or accuse them of holding particular beliefs. Every use of the 2nd person creates a regrettable distance between Author and Reader. It doesn’t mean to, but it makes Readers “the others.”
We’ve never had a woman president.
Inclusive Claim keeps Author and Reader on the same team:
It’s important to remember that we’ve never had a woman president.
Avoid Exclusive Claims that separate the Author (who knows what needs to be remembered) from the Reader (who needs to be reminded what’s important):
What you need to remember is that we’ve never had a woman president.
Attentive, intelligent, informed Readers resent being told to remember the obvious.
Problems and Solutions
Cut and paste these sentences into a Reply field below this page.
Revise them to eliminate all 2nd person language.
- CONSIDER REPHRASING IN THE PASSIVE TO AVOID PRONOUNS COMPLETELY.
- THE PREFERRED PRONOUNS ARE WE, OUR, AND OURS.
- DO NOT USE ONE AS YOUR PRONOUN.
- Taxpayers wonder whether the amount spent on students makes a difference. If you really think about it, yes it does. Ask any parent whose child goes to an expensive school.
- There are different types of injuries that happen in each sport. Would you object if you knew that a surgery performed before any injury occurs could make an athlete stronger?
- Imagine your body being consumed by a drug. You would do anything to get this drug and you don’t worry about the consequences that come with it.
- By inviting Syrians in, you’re causing more problems than you’re solving.
- Does the idea of not actually having your money on-hand sound trivial?
- That little green piece of paper in your pocket holds no actual value other than the cost it took to produce it, and yet you will work your whole life just to acquire more of those little green pieces of paper just so you can take them and stick them in a bank.
- So just remember the next time you read a bank statement or look at dollar bill that you’re holding an made up value that someone decided to make up. Without it, you might still be having to trade with goods like livestock and produce.
- I now understand that a dollar is only worth what you can receive in exchange for it.
- Being able to walk around with money without holding the money in your hand brings me back around to the idea of the stone because, just like stone currency, you don’t need to be in physical possession of these Bitcoins to own them.
- We hear people talk about the American Dream, which requires that you have enough of these pieces of paper to be financially stable. If you think about it deeply you will realize, that you receive these pieces of paper called money and base your whole life on them.
- Money is an adroit concept and its pursuit lasts a lifetime. Your goal from the moment you start school is to join the game of making enough of these pieces of paper to make your life more fun and acceptable.