ctype.h recently created a tag called . So far, this tag exists on only one question, and I think the tag itself is fine.

However, I disagree with the tag wiki description ctype.h proposed:

For questions about determining the point of view of a given construction, i.e. first-, second-, or third-person.

In my view, this is conflating point of view with grammatical person. These two concepts are closely related, but differ somewhat in the details:

  • Point of view is chiefly concerned with narratives and works of fiction; it includes not only first-, second-, and third-person, but also descriptors such as omniscient, close, and alternating.
  • Grammatical person is more general and does not include these descriptors.

Since we often talk about first-/second-/third-person from a grammatical perspective without talking about the point of view of a story, I think we should come up with another solution--perhaps two tags, or perhaps a different description in the tag wiki.

  • +1 Moreover, the one question tagged with POV addresses temporal perspective, not personal; and that to my mind is adequately addressed under the category tense. I'd vote to kill the tag. Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 19:23
  • What do you think the tag wiki should say?
    – ctype.h
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 3:45
  • 1
    @StoneyB Perhaps post this as an answer, as to gauge community support?
    – WendiKidd
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 15:10
  • @WendiKidd As you wish. Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 14:23

1 Answer 1

  1. As OP says, point of view is a critical term belonging to the study of narrative, film and art, not a linguistic one. These are, I believe, matters which we intend to exclude from consideration here, except insofar as they impinge on English usage.

  2. Again as OP says, the linguistic dimension of first-, second- and third-person perspectives has its own term of art, person; and I think we should prefer our own terms to those from other disciplines.

  3. Finally, the only question which at this writing has been tagged is concerned with temporal perspectives, not personal. This too possesses a familiar linguistic term, tense; and again I think this should be preferred.

I think the tag should be explicitly deprecated.

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