You have started referring to yourself

in the second person. You felt it added that extra little challenge to conversations. For added confusion, you randomly mixed other personal pronouns at the party last night. He got so annoyed I nearly threw you out.


How does one do that, exactly?

eleanorigby wants to know!

In the written form, you already know that to speak in the first person is to refer as if the person talked about is oneself - to use “I” and “me”. You likewise recall that to speak in the third person is to describe events as though there were no person being spoken to - that “you” do not exist in the narrative. You realise that therefore the second person must be between these two, and that it is in form of you being a part of the events, but as told to you by another.

Coming up with a good analogy, you think further; a scene in the first person is described as if a mental monologue. A third person scene is described as if by a person up high overlooking the events. A second person scene then can be thought of as a person standing next to you, narrating to you what you’re doing.


We have?

Huh? I’m thoroughly confused. Examples please.

Pardon Outdoor charcoal grill?

LurkMeister would be happy to do so. In fact, LurkMeister is considering referring to LurkMeister in the second person from now on, so that everyone will know for sure that LurkMeister is the one making LurkMeister’s posts.

That’s third person. To refer to yourself in the second person is to use “you” where you’d otherwise use “I”. The effect is, as RT said, similar to that of a narrator following you around describing your own words and actions to you. The OP was an example in and of itself; read it again replacing “you” with “I”, and you’ll get the idea.

Another example: Your username is Roland Orzabal, and your location is Roanoke, VA. You are currently posting an example of referring to yourself in the second person. You think this sounds just ridiculous enough to be entertaining, so you’ll be doing it when you go into work Monday morning.

[/goofy POV]

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of many literary scenarios where you’d want to do this…perhaps a character’s internal monologue addressing himself?

LurkMeister feels suitably chastened. :smack:

For some reason, this made you laugh like a drain.

Oh joyous occasion! Your post made me glad, and now you, in turn, are gladdened by my post!

This is like that old joke: “I’m schizophrenic!” “No, you’re not!”

Or something. You there or him or her or even me–get it together, kay? Snap out of it! <smacks person on head with wet trout>

I think I’m going to need a diagram.

I know!! This is mind-boggling.

Maybe if it was in real life, it would make more sense (or less as the case may be). But in writing, it just sounds weird. . .and confusing.

“Choose Your Own Adventure” books were all written in the second person. Role playing game narrations sometimes use the second person. (I guess a Choose Your Own Adventure book is a form of RPG.)

Even an internal monologue wouldn’t really be the second person if it wasn’t consistently used throughout the work; revealing an inner monologue is just a form of dialogue, and dialogue is frequently in the second person, but doesn’t change the perspective of the text.

As well as much of Italo Calvino’s If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler, which is a fantastic book.

You are intrigued, and wish to subscribe to their newsletter.

Has he been drinking when you do this?

For added Funne, thou hast decided to kontinew in ye Presentt “Thredde” as thou wert corresponding from Olden Tymes. Thou imaginest thou art mayhap a Pilgrim late embarked on a Journey to far distant Shores and awaye hence from Mother England.