Expressions that let you talk about yourself
We are now familiar with a variety of expressions for giving compliments, for expressing criticism, and so on. But talking about other things and other people is only a part of what we use language for. If you think about it, one of the most important functions of language is to let you talk about yourself! In everyday conversation, in pointless chatter with friends, discussions with classmates, and so on, expressing yourself, your own ideas about who and how you are is probably the one factor consistent in all your conversation.
In the English language, there is lots of choice if you want expressions that let you talk about yourself. But ‘talking about yourself' is a very broad concept; to start with, let us focus on talking about things we do not like too much.
One of my favorite expressions in this category is a peculiar use of the word ‘person'. Here's how it works: you take whatever object or concept you are talking about, and add ‘person' after it to make up a new category of people. If some friends invite me to go jogging with them early in the morning, I could refuse, saying, ‘I'm not really a morning person.' When I say this, I am not talking about a dislike. This expression is only used for stating a preference. Here is another example: If your exams are approaching and you need to spend more and more time in the library, you could complain about it a little, saying, ‘I'm not actually a library person.' When you use this form, you are essentially creating categories: there are people who like to get up early in the morning, and there are people who don't enjoy it as much. Or there are people who enjoy spending time in the library, and there are others who can spend time in the library if they have to, but don't really enjoy the experience.
A couple of important things to note before you start using this expression: Attach the word ‘person' to broad categories, not to specific things. This expression works best when making negative statements. ‘I'm not a morning person' is fine, saying ‘I'm a morning person,' is awkward. And as always, remember that this is an informal expression--use it in conversation among friends, but keep it out of your formal interactions.
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