Date: Sun, 9 Nov 1997 19:43:59 -0500 From: "(Dale F. Coye)" Subject: one as a pronoun? After reading 72 freshmen papers I find myself facing: "One finds many points in common..." in nearly every one. I hate this construction. I especially hate it when it's reflexive: "when one asks oneself what one's position is..." Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage tells us it is 'usually the mark of a formal style,' but I find myself wanting to tell my students not to use it ever, because it sounds stiff and unnatural. In other words, my Sprachgefuehl tells me people don't use it in informal speech, and formal speech that deviates too much from informal speech doesn't set well. My question is- what's the current feeling on this construction, in writing and in speech? I know some people use it in conversational styles, but is it only PhDs? It sounds foreign to me. German, 'man,' French 'on,' but not English. Dale Coye The College of New Jersey