Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thinking in the Third Person Does Not Make You Three-Dimensional

Henson doesn’t understand why some people insist on talking about themselves in the third person. Henson feels this disrupts the natural flow of conversation when a person begins referring to themselves in the third person, because then Henson begins to wonder who is actually standing in front of him speaking? Since they’ve clearly removed themselves from the actual physical embodiment of the person they’re referring to, does this mean that the person in front of Henson is actually some kind of astral projection of the real person, or perhaps a hologram that is only meant to be representational? Henson is very confused.

Okay, enough of that nonsense. Obviously, I am trying to illustrate a point. When someone begins referring to themselves in the third person, as if speaking about a completely different entity, it makes me wonder what kind of horrible accident occurred to separate their mind from their body? Otherwise, I don’t understand why someone would insist on talking about themselves as if they’re not even there—as if the person speaking were merely an emissary sent to tell everyone what the real person thinks, says and feels.

One of the reigning offenders of this type of ridiculous self-indulgence is Suede, part of the new crop of eccentric designers on this season’s “Project Runway.” Ironically his name sounds very much like Jade, a former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model,” who also referred to herself in the third person. In fact, when she was finally eliminated from the competition, she wasn’t entirely convinced they were eliminating her, but rather the other “Jade” she constantly referred to when speaking about herself. This caused a huge altercation with the security guards, who were called in to physically remove both “Jades” from the building. Later, Jade allegedly changed her name to Pebbles, and is now touring the cruise ship circuit as a pair of Siamese Twins.

But let’s get back to Suede for a moment. He’s a thirty-something designer with a bad dye job and a propensity to boost his own ego by saying things like “Suede did really good” or “Suede rocks” or “Suede needs to go tee-tee now.” This obnoxious device is not only overused, but it seems to be in line with other designers on the show, who also wish to promote themselves through the overuse of clever verbiage. Consider the young overly-tanned Blayne, who insists on pushing his “girlicious” agenda, a blatant attempt to capitalize on last season’s “hot mess tranny” lingo from Christian. What’s sad is that it’s so obvious this kid wants America to embrace his kooky collection of catch phrases that it’s become one of the running jokes of the season. Imagine trying to get Tim Gunn to say “Holla at yo boy” every time he came in the room. It doesn’t even make sense.

So is Suede using the third person singular to make sure people remember him, or is it because he has trouble remembering himself? I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure Suede wasn’t his given name. (Velour, perhaps, but not Suede.) So maybe he overuses the term because he’s trying to convince himself that it’s a legitimate name---the more he says it, the more it becomes ingrained in his psyche. Unfortunately, that psyche doesn’t seem to have any connection with his body, which is simply a vessel with which to carry “Suede” around. Whatever the reason for the separation, it certainly gives him ample opportunity to boost his own ego, because you can’t really classify his self-congratulatory dialogue as “bragging” if he never uses the word “I”, right?

But that’s just Henson’s opinion. What do you think of people who refer to themselves in the third person? Henson wants to know.

12 comments:

Carol said...

Maybe Suede is Elmo in disguise?

Patricia Rockwell said...

I might if my first name were something unique or related to my career as Suede's is. Otherwise, "I" is fine with "me."

Rachel S said...

Drives me nuts when people do this. I suspect it's an attempt to distance themselves from responsibility for their own actions, or - more likely - an attempt to make sure that OTHERS remember their name by repeating it again and again. Or maybe it's a dissociative personality disorder in which the speaker serves only as the narrator for the other personality. Anyway, Christian annoyed the hell out of me last season, and Suede is doing the same for me this season.

momjeansblogger said...

LMAO! I love Project Runway and Suede drives me crazy with the referring to himself in the third person. You know his real name is John Johnson or something. He probably changed his name to just "Suede" like "Cher" or something.

Grr, Midnight & Cocoa said...

My ex-husband sometimes refers to himself in the third person. If he does, you know you'd better get out of there because he's just about to lose it. Usually extreme anger or stress triggers his. Don't know why people would actually CHOOSE to do this. Bugs the hell outta me.

Waterrose said...

We're watching PR now and Suede looks like he is going into DTs because he passed a tanning salon and can't go in....since he tans every other day. Whew...glad I won't be seeing him in 30 years. Now...we're going to get a glass of water and finish watching ..I can't say that there are any designers on this season that we would choose.

Daisy said...

Daisy thinks talking about oneself in the third person is very silly!

Sassy Mama Bear said...

I think it makes them seem arrogant. I think in their mind using the third person when referring to themself makes them seem more important.
In reality they look foolish.

Roxiticus Desperate Housewives said...

Reggie Jackson just wants what's best for Reggie Jackson...

Roxy

blaine_fridley said...

speaking in 3rd person is the same as starting every sentence with the phrase "i'm an irritating megalomaniac."

hence, the high usage among athletes.

by the way, dig your writing style. you'll def see me again.

Grandy said...

Well, Grandy has a tendency to refer to herself in the 3rd person only on her blog. Maybe it's just easier for her to tell the story that way?

I hadn't realized how annoying it could be. ::sigh::

I'll try to work on that.

David said...

Talking in the third person is a sign of childish behavior, however, thinking in the third person is a healthy way of dealing with the relationships around you.

What I mean by this is referring to yourself by your own name is reverting back to what you did when you were five. However, if you are conscience (believing in con-science) you can understand that thinking in the third person when dealing with someone else is psychology healthy.

For instance, I'm going to a therapist. That therapist has to prescribe so many meds and wants to meet her quota as well as find as many sick people as she can in her neighborhood. I want to be relatively healthy and stay away from ECT and Lithium. I could use some meds, but I don't want to sound like Carie Fischer with obvious laps of time and reason while I talk.

It is important for me to think in the third person to delegate my relationship with myself and my therapist to achieve a common ground and objective without becoming a guinea pig.