Ever felt alone in the world? You aren’t!

OK – I admit they WON the Grand Final for 2012 though!

I am prone to wondering who I am since resigning from full-time employment. I find myself talking about my old job and saying “we” did this or that. There is no such thing as “we ” anymore. A lot people I worked with have retired or moved onto other jobs. My memories of the workplace are carved in stone for me – not hindered by time or place. It got me thinking about how powerful the word “we” is and how many sub groups we can belong to – and we don’t always have to sign a membership form!

Firstly the meaning of the word: We (pronoun – Ist person plural) – Compact Oxford English Dictionary

  1. Used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself and one or more other people considered together.People in general
  2. Used in formal situations for or by a royal person, or by a writer to , to refer to himself or herself.
  3. You (used in a superior way)

ORIGIN  Old English

We can be used to describe an inclusive group that share the same characteristics,

  • employment titles such as engineers, nurses, I.T. professionals
  • union groups – retailers association
  • introverts and extroverts
  • members of a board or committee such a Rotary International
  • members of political parties
  • members of government or opposition
  • constituents in an Electorate area
  • members of a family – mother, daughter, aunt, father, son
  • members of a street such King George Street residents
  • members of a country or race – English, Polish, American, Libyan
  • informal groups such as a circle of friends
  • members of a religious group
  • members of an industry group – financiers, cleaners
  • interest groups – bird watchers,
  • a group with similar physical features – fat, skinny, beautiful
  • hair colour – blonde jokes
  • health status – diabetic, mentally ill
  • status on the internet such as blogger
  • supporters of football/cricket clubs

Can you think of any subgroups I forgot? I am sure there are lots 🙂



3 thoughts on “Ever felt alone in the world? You aren’t!

  1. Got this in a newsletter today about the “clinical we” and thought you would enjoy it Lorraine:
    “Nosism: Several subscribers suggested that doctors and nurses who used we (“And how are we today?”), which Hilary Powers calls the clinical we, isn’t an example of nosism, using we for oneself. John Weiss argued that it either meant you or was an embracing plural first person that included the patient.” (http://www.worldwidewords.org/nl/wodr.htm)
    It seems we can use we for many purposes!

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