A professional genealogist critiqued my writing by asking who 'we' is?
I knew she was being 'tacky', but I felt sorry for her because she does not "get" WE. For, without WE, life is harder, research is less fun, and victories are hollow. I do not write for publication, I write for myself. I do not care to read 'academically' correct articles. I find them dry and boring, so I give myself permission to use WE.
WE may have many meanings. It may mean me and a client, or me and the recorder's office, or me and one or more of the myriad librarians, archivists, DNA matches, or others who helped me along the way.
But mostly, WE are my cousins and fellow researchers, most likely Rutledge relations, because that is my addiction, but it could be any of the other dedicated researchers involved in the research topic, or WE may mean my cheering section.
When I started out in the IT industry, I learned the fastest way to be offered new opportunities was to teach others to do my current job. I learned that it was not what I knew, but who I knew when it came to tackling tough problems and now, as a genealogist, I could not solve the problems I do without the help of WE, whoever they may be.
So, WE find records, WE locate a piece of property, WE jump for joy when another comes through with a question, piece of evidence, an idea, or even a lack of evidence.
But my WE is a quiet WE. WE are flowing, like the quiet river. Some have ridden the currents of time and are gone, some are just beginning, and many are within the journey.
Now, WE have the next challenge to address.