Irritating use of the 1st Person Plural

Please, I beg you to consider your careless disregard of the rules of polite grammar. In a normal conversation when sharing one’s views, go easy on the 1st person plural. Use the 1st person singular, keep it personal; don’t involve me in moral quandaries until you invite me in. Then you can throw around the plural with permission. Let me explain:

When someone has clearly been thinking a lot about some moral/social concerns in society / church / charity of their own interest they often come off with the following line :

“I think we need to do more about……we don’t do enough about ….”      

Whoa – hold on… “WE”? Since when do I have to suddenly share the burden of this concern? – you’ve been telling me what you’ve been thinking about – I’ve barely had time to process the ills you intend to fix so don’t slip me into the moral compulsion by your careless dropping of the 1st person plural! And what if I am already doing something about what you are discussing? You are forcing me into an attempt to justify myself by proudly listing my personal involvement in said cause. I did not want to have to do that.

I’m happy if you say “I think ‘I need to do more about….” then I have the space to consider the issue without being rushed into plunging my precious time / money / ideological future into the idea you have recently considered for YOURSELF. At least if you want me to think about joining your cause have the decency to ask “What do you think?” – that’s a gentler way of inviting me in to share the morally compulsive action you suggest.

Honestly, some people think morals are more than just personal!

Vox O’Malley – needlessly irritated by trivia