Nice point Rick. In fact, "we" is not simply a "polite" form. In logic
it is the basic form of "bandwagon" arguments--the assumption of
agreement in advance of any evidence, and as such is often extremely
impolite. In the example I cited, it is used to summarily dismiss
centuries of Scottish writing as no more than a "satellite" of English
writing--even the centuries before 1707 and even what is written in a
quite distinct language.
Anyone who is interested can find that review in the Athenaeum for 1919.
It is a review of G. Gregory Smith's SCOTTISH LITERATURE: CHARACTER
>>> [log in to unmask] 02/15/04 12:48 PM >>>
Is this the same as the immensely irritating "As can easily be shown"
takes the place for pages of necessary equations in math books. :>)