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Becoming a “We”

Monday, July 15th, 2002 · No Comments

Becoming a “We”
It’s one of those subconscious things that members of a couple do after they’ve been together awhile. It’s usually a sure-sign that you, a member of a couple — a “we” — usually operate as a couple, as a “we.” Sentences begin with “we” without any reference to a second, third, or fourth person. Jen and I have been together for quite some time now — we just passed our third anniversary as a “we,” yet I still, to this day, make a conscious effort to begin all sentences that involve the “we” with “Jen and I” (or “my fiancee and I” when speaking to folks who don’t know Jen). I am quite aware of this speech pattern. In fact, it really bothers me when I’m speaking to someone who begins a sentence with “we” and I haven’t even met nor do I know the name of the other member of the “we.” Of course, I know the person is referring to the other member of the “we,” but it’s still annoying when I haven’t met the other “we.”

I’m thinking about this this morning because without even realizing it, my roommate Shannon became a “we” last night. She won’t admit it, but she began a sentence with “we” — without referring to the other member of her “we.” In her case, it’s fine that she began her sentence that way since I know the other party in question.

Don’t get me wrong — there’s nothing bad about becoming a “we” (I’m one myself), but it’s just an interesting part of our speech patterns. I wonder if it’s something unique to this language or if it’s found in others, too.

Tags: anecdotes