sorry for slow blogging. life is kind of overfull sometimes! i know y'all want to hear all my peeves; nothing is so edifying and interesting or closer to the basic use of a blog. anyway, the use of the term "individual" to mean any person is just epidemic. i first got it from police-speak, where i guess the idea is to distinguish official from informal communications in some entirely useless and meaningless way. but now i notice it, for example, in anyone's media quotes about anything, and it's suddenly non-stop in student papers, incomprehensibly. i can only speculate that its use is to signal that the suspect or citizen referred to is not a pair of conjoined twins, or is not harboring within her body an entire intact person as a humunculus, which obviously might be an important fact, particularly if you're contemplating random wide-scale vivisections, which we obviously are.
perhaps, on the other hand, the use of the term is a pointedly ironic commentary on our amazing era of social constructionism and ecstatic collectivism. after all, the last human individual died in 1927.