Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Second Person Butchered Again

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo didn't read my previous post regarding the abuse of second person pronouns when referring to yourself. Otherwise he might not assume we all have fractured vertebrae and are trying to prepare to play football.

'It's progressing," the signal-caller said of his back during an NFL PLAY 60 event. "I think each day it gets, you know, a little bit improvement, and I think that you just keep trying to figure out what you're able to do each day. Then you go into the next and hopefully you are able to improve enough to get ready to go."

When he says, "you know" that's actually the correct use of second person pronoun because he's trying to verify that the reporter has some clue about injuries and the time it takes to heal. But from that point on he refers to this generic "you" that has no relationship to reality. This is the most frequent scenario where people abuse the second person because athletes are constantly asked specific personal questions and over time they stopped answering in the first person, even though they should since the question is specific and personal and if they answer it with a generic "you" they are framing the whole conversation in almost pre-determined, internationally recognized terms, like we can all relate. This really irks me and has me carving ceramic tile statues in the image of my disgust.

I believe it has become habitual at this point so Romo can't be faulted too much. It's accepted that if someone says, "Tony, you fractured your spine, how does that feel?" Tony will respond, "Well, you get up in the morning and you do your exercises that you have been prescribed and you take your pain meds and you and you and you....blah blah...you do this you do that." And he manages to answer without using a single first person pronoun. That's fucking insane. Do people understand how fucked up that is? He fractured his spine by getting a 200 pound knee to the back...and he'd already had spine surgery on a different part of his spine. And even though this is very specific and personal and almost no quarterbacks have spine injuries or spine surgeries, he's still responding like there is some generic "You" who is not only a celebrated NFL quarterback but is also suffering from multiple spine problems. There might be 5 people out of 7 Billion who fit that description. Tony, there is no generic "you" who can relate to your condition and circumstances. Only YOU can answer that question by saying, "Well, I'm in a lot of pain, I take medication but that only does so much and it makes me sick and tired and I have a broken back so of course I'm frustrated. But I can only progress one day at a time."

Instead, he says this:

“We’re just taking it day by day,” Romo said. “Obviously, if you couldn’t walk through, you’ll probably struggle getting ready for practice. It continues to get a little better incrementally each day. You just reassess it every day.”

How hard is it for an athlete to use the first person? Why is this second person abuse now an accepted tradition? And what are you doing about it?

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.