Annals of Column Writing

Richard Cohen’s column in today’s Washington Post uses the “I” word 29 times with 11 more references to “me” or “my.”

The other three Post oped columnists, Eugene Robinson, Michael Gerson, and Catherine Rampell, couldn’t compete. Robinson had three references to “I” plus a “me,” Gerson had three references to “I,” while Rampell had only a “my” as in “Florida, my beloved home state.”


  1. This is a snapshot of self-reference by columnists, of course. But in reporting in general, or opinion writing, I’ve never understood why in some styles it is considered better journalism to say somebody met with a reporter, or this reporter, or a columnist, when the writer refers to him/herself in a meeting or observing something.

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