Third-person pronoun referring to a person present

Conversation, Nyilasy Sándor.How to be respectful?

Once upon a time… well, thrice, I had this peculiar experience.

I am in a group of people and, as the conversation goes on, my fiancé says something like: ‘He is such a cunning linguist,’ to refer to me. Then I raise my eyebrows: how could that be? I am here, and yet you refer to me as he, instead of my name. Isn’t third-person pronoun used when a person is not present, not here? What is that supposed to mean?

Then I start getting upset, considering it rude, yet he explains that it is not offensive at all, which seems to be contradictory to my experience and a few sources I found on the internet. That seems to depend heavily on a person.

Moral of the story: avoid using third-person pronouns when referring to a person who is present. However, do not get infuriated when someone else uses it.


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