1. watermark

    watermark Member

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    Use of "You know" in 1st person POV

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by watermark, Jan 24, 2017.

    Is it good to write it so it seems the narrator is addressing the reader? Or is this bad writing? I want to use it so it sounds more conversational, but I'm not sure if it works or just annoys the readers. Specifically, I am referring to the use of "you" or "you know how" that we sometimes use in speaking.

    For example:

    "You know how if you've never owned a car before and one day you buy a car. Then all of a sudden you will see cars everywhere."

    If I take out the you, I could write it like this:
    "A popular saying goes that if a person’s never owned a car before, and one day this person buys a car, then all of a sudden he will see cars everywhere."

    Which is better? Is there a better way than either?
     
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    In this particular case, in the example given, it's hard for me to hear that you as anything other than the impersonal you, the every-you, similar in use to the pronoun form of one. I don't hear it as you-you, the specific you.

    So, to answer the question, I don't see why not.
     
  3. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    The former example does sound more conversational. You have to think about your narrator when you have them explicitly addressing the reader, though - if you're writing in first person, the narrator is the MC, so from when and where are they narrating their story? Does it make sense for them have asides to the reader? Or, if you're writing in third, the narrator is someone else, and their own voice might need to be taken into account. Only having a couple asides might just end up taking the reader out of the experience, whereas things like Terry Pratchett's footnotes are part of the experience of reading his books. Do you want your narrator to have a voice like that, or are they only acknowledged for certain turns of phrase? (Of course if you're writing in first, none of that's an issue and it's much simpler.)
     
  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    In that example it comes across to me as the sort of meaningless wording that people insert in the begining or end of sentences , other examples of which include starting with "it's like. " and the ending "innit" - theres probably a language term for that sort of redundant wording .

    This being the case the Op could drop the you know completely without changing the sentence and start from "If..."
     
  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I was under the impression that innit must always be followed by brrap, but that the gettin' 'ectic wif the lads is optional. ;)
     
  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    No innit comes last, innit. Cos like it means 'isnt it' an that, innit

    so its like y'know a queshtun, but sumtimes its like retorikall, innit
     
  7. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    Nah... snot... just innit, innit.
     
  8. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    I would have thought that if you want your 'you' to address the reader directly, then you need to set that tone from the start.
     

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