Moving from "I" to "we"

Third person and first person

When you write something in English, you have to choose which "person" you're going to write in. You can choose to write in "third person", which means that you talk about things as "he", "she", "it", "they", "that", and so on. Here's how I might write about PhraseMix in third person:

PhraseMix began in 2009.

When you write in the third person, your writing seems straightforward and factual.

Another way of writing is to use the "first person", which means that you write about "I", "me":

I started PhraseMix in 2009.

When you write in first person, your writing seems more personal and emotional. This is the way that I've chosen to write in most PhraseMix articles and emails. For example:

Someone recently told me about a cool trick for memorizing things. 

I wish I could remember who told me about the trick, and where they got it from.

("A cool trick for memorizing sentences")

Moving to "we"

But recently, I've noticed that my writing style has started to change. Instead of using "I", I've started to use "we" instead. For example, I wrote this in an email recently:

This week, we're working on creating audio files for a new list of 100 lessons that will be released on PhraseMix Premium over the next 3 or 4 months.

You use "we" when you're writing something on behalf of a group of people, like when the CEO of a company writes something that represents the whole company. When you use "we", it seems less personal than "I". But it also seems more official and respectable.

The reason that I've started to change my writing style is that, these days, PhraseMix is not just me. For many years, it was mostly me. I wrote all the lessons, drew the illustrations, and built the site myself.

These days, there are a lot of people who are making contributions to the site. There are still no full-time PhraseMix employees (including myself), but there are lots of people doing different jobs. My job now is mostly to coordinate everything and come up with new ideas.

The PhraseMix Contributors

So now I'd like to introduce you to some of the people whose work makes PhraseMix possible:

  • Emily Hitz has been writing a lot of articles recently, such as "25 ways to say 'sorry' in English", and has taken over writing most of the daily English lessons.
  • Roy Ardianto has taken over drawing most of the daily illustrations.
  • Misako Yoke was the translator for the PhraseMix book, 英語はもっとフレーズで話そう and has been providing Japanese translations for the website since 2010.
  • Eri Yokoyama has produced videos for PhraseMix, including the video for A cool trick for memorizing sentences and the recent book release video.
  • Leigh Laird is the voice actor for PhraseMix Premium audio lessons. She records the example sentences for female speakers.
  • Anthony Gettig is the voice actor for the example sentences spoken by male speakers in PhraseMix Premium audio files.
  • Dianne Palmer is the narrator for the scene descriptions in PhraseMix Premium audio lessons.
  • And, of course, there's you: PhraseMix readers and PhraseMix Premium subscribers who use this site, share it with other people, and support it with your subscriptions.

I'm so grateful to all of these people!

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