Fetish of the Individual: I versus YOU

So as i have been working on this blog, i decided to use lower case i for the first person pronoun.  Sometimes i do that and sometimes I forget.

But I got to wondering if the capital I is related to the fetish of the individual.  It seems as if it is, and apparently most other languages don’t capitalize the first person pronoun.

The blog posting “Is capitalizing I an ego thing” suggests it is just to make sure the i doesn’t get lost in the writing.  But it is still an interesting read.

A Way with Words – a great NRP show, suggests that using i is more self-aggrandizing than using I.

The New York Times is more in accord with the Fetish of the Individual.  “Consider other languages: some, like Hebrew, Arabic and Devanagari-Hindi, have no capitalized letters, and others, like Japanese, make it possible to drop pronouns altogether. The supposedly snobbish French leave all personal pronouns in the unassuming lowercase, and Germans respectfully capitalize the formal form of “you” and even, occasionally, the informal form of “you,” but would never capitalize “I.” Yet in English, the solitary “I” towers above “he,” “she,” “it” and the royal “we.” Even a gathering that includes God might not be addressed with a capitalized “you.””

The impact of I versus i.

Regardless of the grammatical intent of using “I”, think about the message it sends.  When a child always sees “I” capitalized, they get a message that “I” am more important then “you” or “they” or “us.”









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