M. Quinion writes in this week's "World Wide Words":
"Illeism is the habit of referring to oneself in the third person."
As "He is having a toothache" (example by Witters, or Wittgenstein, as Grice called him).
"Strictly speaking it refers to excessive use of the pronoun he, because it derives from ille, its Latin equivalent. That’s why it’s said like illy-ism."
It may be pointed out that "ille" was perhaps more of a DEMONSTRATIVE than a neutral pronoun?
Demontratives can be distal, medial, or proximate (this, that, yonder).
"It is most often found in books about Shakespeare’s plays, in particular Julius Caesar, in which characters often refer to themselves in the third person, a trick that Shakespeare took from Caesar’s own writings."
I wonder who he borrowed it from. I expect it wasn't CICERO!
"Characters in fiction sometimes refer to themselves in the third person, which can be an authorial device for indicating idiocy or overweening self-importance. Neither applies to Salman Rushdie’s new book, a record of the years he spent in hiding from the risk of retaliation by Muslims against The Satanic Verses. His book’s title is Joseph Anton, the pseudonym Rushdie took during this period; he distances himself from his alter ego by using the third person."
In a sort of Brechtian strategy "without much of an effect", as Joseph Anton agrees.
"Illeism was coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1809 as the inverse of egotism, a mark of which is overuse of the pronoun I."
Others prefer 'egoism'. Grice and I prefer self-interest! And that makes us "moral" for the whole point of morality is the balance between self-interest and so-called "benevolence". Grice was so fascinated with this that he makes 'conversational principles' of both! (Lectures on Conversation, Oxford, 1965).
"Coleridge also invented tuism, meaning to refer to oneself as thou (on occasion people then still used thou as a familiar second-person pronoun equivalent to French tu, from which he took the name). Tuism also means giving priority to the interests of other people rather than oneself: The professional’s attitude is or ought to be one of “tuism” — in other words, he is concerned, through beneficence coupled with integrity, to promote the interests of his clients. Ethics in Education, by David Fenner, 1999."
---- This may relate to so-called philosophies of dialogue alla Buber ("I and thou"). What Grice considers is the idea of the 'soul' as involving at least two departments: the judiciary and the executive -- and why not the legislative. So, the judiciary may utter a "tu" meant for the executive. (These reflections found in Grice, "Actions and Events", Pacific Philosophical Quarterly).
"The plural equivalent of illeism is nosism (from Latin nos, we), referring to oneself as we, something not much heard even from royalty these days (“We are not amused”)."
"However it’s often still called the royal we."
Or majestic 'we'. The point by Queen Victoria is often disimplicated. The idea would be to play on the implicature that _WE_ cannot logically be amused, since amusement is only the Queen can do herself. Cfr. Are you enjoying yourself, Mr. Wilde? "There's nothing else here to enjoy, Ma'am".
"It can also be the editorial we, since commentators like to use it in the hope that they will sound like spokespeople for the public, or at least the organisation for which they write. Nosisms can be heard from patronising doctors or nurses (“How are we feeling this morning? Any better?”) or in sarcastic comments (“Well, well! Aren’t we looking awfully chic tonight?”)."
It can also be Literal.
"We don't want it", said Tweedledum and Tweedledee in unison. In this case, it would be obtuse to say,
"By uttering, "We love it", Tweedledum and Tweedledee MEANT that they loved it. For "meaning" is by nature an 'idiosyncratic' phenomenon. So we need to analyse, separately, what Tweedledum meant and what Tweedledum meant. It's different with "Congress", of course.