Third person

Jeff Hullinger, WXIA

By Jeff Hullinger

Question: What does speaking in third person mean?

Answer: Talking about one’s self as though you were talking about someone else.

Two GOP candidates for Governor habitually spoke in third person.

“…the voters want John Oxendine,” says John Oxendine.

The candidate did that Sunday during the debate on  Georgia Public Television and then Monday when I interviewed him inside The Varsity.

My guess is a political or speech consultant has encouraged Mr. Oxendine to refer to himself in public as John Oxendine.

Nathan Deal looks and sounds like a man cast to be governor by a television show or movie. He speaks in short clipped sentences and always stays on message.

He too has been speaking in the third person.

Monday before boarding an airplane at PDK, “.. Nathan Deal has the right ideas for Georgia,” said Nathan Deal.


Maybe it’s a trend.

“Jeff Hullinger enjoyed covering Tuesday’s election results” said Jeff Hullinger.

Not a candidate: Deion Sanders

With my move from sports  to news- – I thought I was done hearing such phrases.

Athletes usually constitute the majority of those who speak in third person.

Deion Sanders owns the line, ” Deion will make an impact” said Deion Sanders.

Ricky Henderson also would speak in paragraphs using third person.

“Ricky Henderson must do what Ricky Henderson must do” said Ricky Henderson.

Maybe we can blame Seinfeld reruns.

Remember the Jimmy episode?  A hip guy who spoke in third person.

Try this tonight.

Speak to your spouse in third person and see how far you get.

“Jeff Hullinger would like his wife to bring him a cup of decaf  coffee” said Jeff Hullinger

On second thought.

Or is that third thought?

Hullinger is a reporter at WXIA.  This post originally appeared on

This entry was posted in WXIA on by .

About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

13 thoughts on “Third person

  1. Pingback: Talking in the third person | Radio & TV Talk

    1. Mr. Bear

      I am obligated to report that I did as instructed and walked into the kitchen of our lovely home, telling my spouse that “Riley O’Connor would like a cup of coffee.” The wife did a legitimate double-take, asking “What????”.

      I explained the situation, took a step back and then said: “Mr. Bear would like a cup of coffee.”, to which she responded “Well, why didn’t you say so? Where would you like me to bring it and do you want cream in that coffee?”

      Over coffee, we came to the conclusion that saying “The people want Nathan Deal to be the next Governor” sounds a lot better than saying “The people want ME to be Governor”, a little less egotistical. If you can say that about a politician.

  2. ATL Traffic Queen

    I think both Dan Aykroyd and Norm McDonald did Bob Dole sketches about this very topic! Funny!

  3. Element

    Yeah. I could absolutely see Jeff Hullinger speaking about Jeff Hullinger in the third person. No argument here.

  4. Laxpat

    Jeff – I lived in L.A. when you were there. Seeing you here makes me feel less homesick! (But still feeling culture shock…) :0


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