When did “I” change?

I have been reading the Times of India and lately (since about 2 weeks ago) I have noticed a small change in the way the articles and other stuff is written in the newspaper. It looks like a new rule of grammar has evolved and come to be adopted, without anyone even noticing it. At first, I thought that it was an editorial error, but later on, as I started noticing it on a more regular basis, I came to the conclusion that this was some sort of a new grammatical fad, that has come into being.

Let’s see if you can spot the difference, between the opening paragraph above, and the same paragraph repeated below with the change:

–changed_para–

I have been reading the Times of India and lately (since about 2 weeks ago) i have noticed a small change in the way the articles and other stuff is written in the newspaper. It looks like a new rule of grammar has evolved and come to be adopted, without anyone even noticing it. At first, i thought that it was an editorial error, but later on, as i started noticing it on a more regular basis, i came to the conclusion that this was some sort of a new grammatical fad, that has come into being.

–changed_para–

Did you notice? Perhaps you did…..perhaps not! Since childhood, when I was in school, the prevalent rule of grammar taught to our generation was, when you refer to yourself in an written sentence, use capitals (or “uppercase”, as the new world likes to call it). For example if there is something about myself to be told, it’d be written as — “In the morning, when I woke up, I noticed the sky was overcast!”. Notice it now? I believe at least 8 out of 10 readers of this piece, would now go back and compare the opening paragraph, with its changed version. And I guess, I wrote this previous sentence to egg the remaining two to do the same {hee hee}.

In the newspaper articles, which I am talking about, there seems to be a deliberate switch to small letters (or “lowercase”, if you will.) for this particular frame of reference, except when beginning a sentence with it. Example: “In the morning, when i woke up, i noticed the sky was overcast!”. I assume this is a new age language fad in the enormous repertoire of “political correctness”. What I do not understand is that when/where/who/how this came into being. Or is it just an ailment of the Times Of India in its quest to being different. As I write this, I almost feel like I am the only one who noticed this. But that can’t be true. I am sure several other, more involved readers of the paper, would have certainly done too and chose to just ignore it. Perhaps I am the one guy with time on his hands to write about it in my blog (LOL).

Whatever it is, unless it is established as an accepted new rule, it definitely comes across as something which rubs against the grain of accepted conventions and creates that hard to ignore screech of opposing forces. It doesn’t look like a passing fad but a concerted effort towards toning down the allegedly egotistical tinge that goes with the older “I”, when compared to the newfound humility of the “i”, by hitting the subconscious mind of the reader. The aim is, perhaps, to ingrain this new way of referring oneself, deeply in the minds of the reader, without even he or she noticing the change.

Even today there is a whole generation of people, who have blind faith in the capabilities of the editors and strongly believe that reading of newspapers is the best way to improve one’s command over the English language. And altering the rules of grammar, in favor of political correctness, is a gimmick which will be noticed sooner or later.

What’s your opinion about it? Post a comment as i (there I go!) am eager to know :-).

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Mahalingesh says:

    Thats nice observation, sir!

  2. Maayaavi says:

    buddy….

    playboy or debonair makes a better read than TOI …anyday !!!TOI is the worst “yellow journal”….its the B1K1N1 version of sleaze !

    on a serious note….there are 2 possibilities…either the proof reader and the editor came out from same school (of thought) or TOI is trying to induce “freedom from grammar” !

  3. Metamorphosis says:

    Avoid TOI. It’s been unreadable for long… very long.

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