Not being an academic I find this post most interesting because, though not exactly the same, some parallels can be drawn in "corporate speak", or the way in which certain things have been presented in my past experience at a large company. One of the first things I picked up on from attending various production meetings was not only the removal of self from any remarks made, but also the omission of any person at all as if all statements were pulled from the ether. An example of this phrasing might be; "The question was asked if the new schedule will be effective this Monday or next Monday." Instead of, "John was wondering if the new schedule will be… (etc)". Or, "It’s been made clear by some that the new procedure is inadequate", instead of who in particular was able to make it clear.
I think this sort of ‘protocol’ is driven from a different place though. It has more to do with not being blamed for something, or not putting yourself or someone else in a position of being responsible for any given statement. Once in a while a Vice President or Director would ask, "Who said that?", and you could see all the faces at the table change a shade of color as the safe little ‘protocol’ was broken.
I once found myself laughing to myself when at one meeting someone began their statement with, "The question was asked….", when I knew darn well it was that very person asking "the question" for the first time.
It’s funny and sort of ironic that this sort of thing actually bugs some of us enough to, in wyldeling’s case, want to write about it, or in mine to remember it after 15 years. To me it shows we still want to be human even though some of our man- made disciplines call for the human element to be removed from view.
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