Wednesday, May 18, 2011

writing annoyances.

i've recently developed a dislike for the "mathematical we." you know what i mean:
"with these hypotheses in mind, we now proceed to the proof of the main result."
perhaps i should improve my writing skills. "we" is particularly convenient, though:

anyways, back to writing.

[1] actually, the sentence -- "it's possible to use the pronoun 'it,' but the ensuing sentence becomes quite wordy." -- is itself an example of how awkward it is to avoid 'we' or 'one' ..! q-;


Leonid said...

One thus has proved that "we" is unavoidable.

Anonymous said...

Gerunds might be helpful in some situations to avoid "we." You could write, "Proceeding to the proof of the main result with these hypotheses in mind, (...)"