Thursday, July 07, 2005

First Person by Second Person

A new pet peeve of mine is the use of the phrase "first person" by editors looking for a new name for profiles and interviews. The Washington Post magazine has a "first person" feature, in which the first person, the subject of the article, does not actually write the piece. Yes, "first person" written by someone else. And now the phoney new lifestyle magazine Washington D.C. Style calls its short profile of 16-year-old soccer phenom Freddy Adu a "first person" piece, though it is written by one Robert Strauss. I would like to read a history of decorative type in which words and punctuation and intentional misspelling are used for the sake of their debatable visual appeal as opposed to their actual functions. One would think that professional writers and editors would be the last to go along with this patent insult to the very knowledge they've presumably spent years and years acquiring.

No comments: