Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Words: A New We

We (yeah, I know) all know that there is the Royal We. Originally it referred to the fact that monarchs and other important folk did not refer to themselves in the singular, but employed a we. Then there is the, well, regular we. But there is this we that I have noticed a lot lately. It is employed in such sentences as, "We have to make a better effort to keep this area clean." Very polite and all, but we (again) know that the underlying subtext is often you - as in you need to make a better effort but I'm much too nice to accuse you so I'm saying we.

To my knowledge there is no official term for this we, so I have two suggestions.

The Passive - Aggressive We: acknowledging the currents inherent within the usage of the word we in place of you.

The Reverse We: again an homage to a we that really doesn't include the speaker.

These could also be shortened to PAWe or ReWe.