Paul Groves hates it when people start talking in the third person.

Paul Groves thinks it needs to be stamped out now.

Speaking in the third person is not exactly a modern phenomenon, according to some it started with God Himself. It is also a tried and trusted literary technique.

But our cult of celebrity has seen it gather momentum over the last decade or so. And as we continue to elevate the “here today, gone tomorrow brigade” to a lofty status way above the level they actually deserve, the trend has caught on.

The ball really started to roll with puffed up sports stars. Boxers, basketball players, footballers all started to get in on the act until it became a fairly stock sports interview answer.

For example, Brazilian footballer Ronaldhino managed this beauty when being asked about a possible transfer from Barcelona: “Not Chelsea or Milan. I want to stay with Barcelona – that is my wish, that is the wish of Ronaldinho.”

England cricket captain Michael Vaughan is not immune to a spot of third person ridiculousness that might well have got the MCC crowd spluttering into their G&T’s. “We’ve tried a split captaincy before and it doesn’t work. The best thing is to get Michael Vaughan fit and playing well,” said Michael Vaughan.

It has crept from the wide world of sports to other areas infested by the ego-maniacs – music, film, TV, politics, blogging.

We’re even encouraged to talk about ourselves in the third person on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace – “Paul Groves is…either using one of the stock status updates or trying desperately to think of something witty himself.”

The latest example of media-fuelled talking in the third person came in a most unlikely way from a fairly unexpected source.

Tuning into BBC2’s Escape to the Country with the ever-watchable Melissa Porter, I found that 1960s pop icon turned actor Jess Conrad was searching for a new rural bolthole with his wife.

Having shown them three houses, the fragrant Melissa played her trump card and showed Jess and wife a barn conversion that ticked all the boxes, from the ceiling heights to the hot tub in the backyard.

As he gazed lovingly around the ground floor of the barn, the crooner cooed: “Jess Conrad could live in a house like this.”

Later, when sitting in a large, ugly bath that for some unfathomable reason reminded him of James Bond, he stated: “Jess Conrad becomes James Bond. My name is Conrad, Jess Conrad,” as if we (or, indeed, he) didn’t already know.

Then he began reminiscing about the time he auditioned for the role of 007. “George Lazenby got it. That was a mistake. They should have given it to Jess.”

You know you’re in trouble when your faded 60s pop icons start popping up on daytime TV property programmes talking in the third person.

This type of third person absurdity reached its mildly amusing stage a long, long time ago. It has now gone way beyond a joke.

Paul Groves doesn’t like it. Paul Groves wants it to stop right now.


3 responses »

  1. […] even had a bit of third person absurdity from Lee when he barked into the phone: “I am concerned. Lee McQueen is […]

  2. […] As the checklists have become more prententious, so have some of the househunters. […]

  3. Dharmakara says:

    One of the strangest cases of spaking in the third person that I’ve ever heard came from an interview with the Dalai Lama in 2006:

    “So one day, if the Dalai Lama becomes a mass murderer, he will become the most deadly of mass murderers.”

    He actually laughed after he said this, but after reading Michael Parenti’s article on Tibet, as well as what i know of the history of Tibetan Buddhism, I believe people should be extremely concerned.

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