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POLL: One-Person Operations: 'We' versus 'I'

223 votes were cast.

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Personal logo Toy Soldier Green Supporting Member of TMP writes:

Naturally, this bestows upon ourselves the right to use we as we see fit.
that was good.

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1,402 hits since 24 May 2010
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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'I' is most appropriate
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'we' is most appropriate
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it doesn't matter
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this is the silliest poll ever
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Ditto Tango 2 1 Inactive Member observes:

I've noticed a lot of advertisers here on TMP when referring to themselves use "we", when their participation in forum discussions seems to either state categorically or at least suggest they are one-person operations. Now, there's nothing wrong with a one-person operation, of course, and these are the meat and potatoes for a lot of the supply of miniatures and related systems for some miniature gamers.

However, I have always found it a bit weird to hear the one-person operations (or what I might think are one-person operations) refer to themselves as 'we'. I think there are a lot of reasons for it, among them:

  • wanting to give the impression that service will be reliable because there is a 'we', instead of just an 'I'
  • making the operation sound established, i.e. 'we' have a large number of employees, so 'we' can be counted on

But in the case where an operation has previously identified itself as a one-person show, I find the use of 'we' to perhaps be a bit misrepresenting. Not overly so, but enough to make me raise an eyebrow.

So here's my proposed question:

Should a one-person operation identify his or herself as such and use 'I' as a first person pronoun, or use 'we'?

I think a lot of one-person operations will end up identifying themselves as 'we' anyway, because his/her spouse deals with order processing or dropping off packages at the mail office.

Anyway, FWIW...