Social Question

zensky's avatar

When is it okay to speak (or write) in the third person?

Asked by zensky (13357points) November 4th, 2011

We were discussing this on another thread

- I said Cookie Monster, someone said George Costanza.

When is it cute or funny; when is it obnoxious, condescending and overbearing?

Who can get away with it?

Who cannot?



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20 Answers

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Choc has no absolute opinion on this.

dappled_leaves's avatar

dappled_leaves is going to follow the question, but has no strong opinion. I would guess no one can get away with it in real life. It occurs to me that in that Seinfeld episode, the original third-person talker was considered overbearing by everyone but George, who decided to adopt his style… so, perhaps in tv-land it’s subjective?

zensky's avatar



Aethelflaed's avatar

When it’s a comedic persona put on for a short amount of time, in the context of a “bit”, and then dropped.

bob_'s avatar

bob_ does whatever the fuck he wants.

Berserker's avatar

Symbeline was gonna say something, but then @bob_ went and had to be an hero.

muppetish's avatar

I honestly cannot stand it when people do this. My significant other used to do this (out of silliness) and it drove me crazy. He still does it to tease me.

For some reason, it doesn’t bother me when Cookie Monster does it. Or George Costanza. But it’s annoying when Elmo and Jimmy did it. I’m not sure what really separates the two situations.

zensky's avatar

Zen knows what you mean about Elmo/Cookie.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I don’t remember Costanza doing this outside of one episode – wasn’t it just one episode, and everyone but George found it annoying as hell? Or has it been too long since I’ve seen Seinfeld?

zensky's avatar

@Aethelflaed That’s why it’s so amazing that it’s memorable. Someone said George Costanza and I recalled it. Just like double-dipping, and all kinds of Seinfeldisms. Most were one-time events.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@zensky I always preferred “Can’t-stand-ya”.

augustlan's avatar

Augustlan is master of her own domain.

lillycoyote's avatar

Lilly doesn’t approve of such things and gets very annoyed when people refer to themselves in the third person.

zensky's avatar

@Aethelflaed Zen agrees totally.

saint's avatar

“When the Grey Hair is dead, Magua will eat his heart. Before he dies, Magua will put his children under the knife, so the Grey Hair will know his seed is wiped out forever.”
Spoken by Magua in the Last of the Mohicans

dappled_leaves's avatar

Last of the Mohicans FTW.

augustlan's avatar

Augustlan loves that movie.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Choc agrees and thinks Daniel Day-Lewis was tasty in that movie.

zensky's avatar

Zen wasn’t crazy about it – but didn’t suffer too much. Zen would like to know whether anyone has seen The Way Back yet.

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