posted on Nov, 26 2006 @ 10:08 AM
Originally posted by djohnsto77
Why do all politicians nowadays seem to use this..."When we get to Washington, we'll do this and that."
"We believe in truth and niceness." etc,etc,etc....
There´s a big difference in the examples you name:
The "we" used by royals or other persons with an exalted position in the society. It is correctly called the "Pluralis majestatis". This "we"
however always refers to a SINGLE person (as in "We, the pope") - regardless of whether that person also stands for society as a whole (like some
monarchs consider themselves to be the essence of the state).
The "we" used by politicians or other "mundane" persons persons however comes in two different forms:
The "pluralis modestiae" is used when a person wants to emphasize that he is part of a group with similar intentions (like his
party/department/company...) and/or to be decent about his position within that organization or influence on the matter at hand. In your example,
the" When we get to Washington,...." clearly indicates this pluralis modestiae, as the speaker defines himself as only a part of a group.
Another from often used is the "pluralis auctoris", which is used when the speaker/author wants to include his audience into his intentions...
Example : "We have to fight global warming now!"
Both of these forms are very established in rethorics, but have little in common with the intentions of the "Royal We".