Don’t Switch Person!

I don’t happen to know the technical term for it, but when you refer to something in, say, the third person, don’t switch to using, say, the first person when you refer to it.

Perhaps best explained with an example:

Here’s the sentence:

China has changed that market dramatically, and their decision has forced the rest of the world to become more self-reliant and responsible in our waste management.

  • China—third person; their—third person. They refer to the same entity, so okay.
  • rest of the world—third person; our—first person!
  • They refer to the same entity, so not good

The sentence could have used “us” instead of “rest of the world” and it would have been okay. The sentence could also have used “their” instead of “our” and that would have been okay, too, but I prefer using first person because the sentence already used the third person for China, so using the first person when you refer to someone else is a little smoother.

So what do you call it? Person agreement? Personal coordination? How about clear instead of confusing?