More his/her/their agony

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Tue Dec 9 12:18:51 EST 2003


>This afternoon I found myself struggling with a sentence that raised the
>pronoun problem in a particularly grisly form. A sister is talking about her
>brother, and the point she's making is that their faults and virtues are
>complementary, so that each of them is made to feel smug by observing the
>foibles of the other. She's *talking*, mind, so a degree of colloquialism is
>not a problem. As a first cut, I came up with this:
>'We're a perfect match. Each of us confirms the other in our own good
>opinion of ourselves.'
>Right now, I'm think I'll ditch the sentence altogether, but if anyone can
>suggest a better variation on this theme I'd be interested to know it!

Not *better*, but I'd definitely choose evasion in this case:

'We're a perfect match.  You confirm my own good opinion of myself, 
and I do the same for you.'  Or 'I seem to do the same for you', or 
maybe 'and I confirm your good opinion of yourself.'

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