Celebrating All Things Black & Tan & 4-Legged

Grammar, Objectively March 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — blackntanclan @ 3:18 pm

Between you and me, if I hear one more person use the word “I” in lieu of “me” incorrectly, I might go on a shooting rampage.  Let me make this clear: substituting “I” for “me,” when “me” is grammatically correct, does not make you sound smarter.  Duh.

I’m literally having nightmares about people using the wrong pronoun after a preposition.  I woke up this morning quite angry, having been in the middle of an intense argument just moments before, in my dream, with some person conjured by my subconscious, regarding the phrase “with him and me.”  He tried to politely correct me and tell me I should have said “with him and I.”  I nearly lost it.  I guess it’s true what they say: if your blood pressure reaches a dangerous point in your dream, you’ll wake up.  It’s simple preservation.

I’m not ashamed to admit it: I can still diagram sentences with the best of them.  I can list all my prepositions in alphabetical order in under a minute.  Thanks to two very diligent grammar teachers in seventh and eighth grades, I know the difference between “your” and “you’re” – not to mention “they’re,” “their,” and “there.”  I know when to use the word “to,” “too,” or “two.”  I know that making “it” possessive should never involve an apostrophe.  I know these things, and I cherish this knowledge, and to see others so badly abuse grammar makes my heart weep.

That’s not to say I don’t have an appreciation for literary license.  I do.  I myself start plenty of my sentences with conjunctions – in my blog or personal writing… but never in a formal paper.  It’s about content and context.  Content and context.  Content and context.  Let that be your mantra…

Bad grammar breaks my heart.

'Nuf Said

A Brief Lesson in Grammar:

  • There are subjective pronouns, which are used as the subjects in sentences: I, we, you, he, she, they, it.
  • There are objective pronouns, which are used as objects in sentences: me, us, you, him, her, them, it.
  • If you are using a pronoun as the subject of a sentence, you should use a subjective pronoun.
  • If you are using a pronoun as the object of, for example, a prepositional phrase, you should use an objective pronoun.
  • There are conjunctions, which are used to join two independent phrases together: and, or.  Conjunctions do not give you the right to magically change an objective pronoun to a subjective pronoun.

This is not rocket science.

  • Jim went to the mall.  I went to the mall.  Jim and I went to the mall.
  • Mary went to the mall with him.  Mary went to the mall with me.  Mary went to the mall with him and me.  NOT “WITH HIM AND I” – AND CERTAINLY NOT “WITH HE AND I.”  Ugh, I’m shuddering just thinking about it…

Dear L*rd, please!  Read that again.  Process it, take it to heart, love it, believe in it, and follow it!  Between you and me (yes, ME, not I, damn it!), my sanity (what little there is left) depends on it!

Let me make this perfectly clear to you, my few and far between readers.  I beg you to process this blog and share it.  I don’t know if I can tolerate a world where even the anchor people on the news butcher the English language as they so heinously do, particularly with regard to pronouns.

I’m going to go sit in a corner and cry now…


5 Responses to “Grammar, Objectively”

  1. Matt Worner Says:

    While I co not consider myself particularly well educated, in the classical sense, I was constantly appalled by the grammar from my children’s teachers’ notes. My children were concomitantly appalled at the fact that I took the teachers to task for their poor grammar. (In red pencil; on their missives. I have often wondered in the intervening years how many of these daddy rants got “lost” on the way back to school.) I made no bones about the fact that if I, a high school educated construction worker, could recognise poor grammar, they as college educated erstwhile professionals might at least have the common courtesy to refrain from indulging in it.

    It is demeaning to those of your audience to assume that they will not be intellectually astute enough to recognise slipshod performance.

    • Matt, when you say, “It is demeaning to those of your audience to assume that they will not be intellectually astute enough to recognise slipshod performance,” are you referring to your children’s former teachers, or to me? I certainly didn’t intend to demean my audience – just share my frustration. I think you mean your children’s teachers, but I just want to make sure…

      • Bethany Bauer Says:

        No, he’s definitely referring to the teachers with that “your.” I have been the bearer of several of the aforementioned “daddy rants” over the years. One becomes inured to the poisonous looks and even develops a certain insouciance about the whole matter (the corrected missives, not the poor grammar!).

        Absolutely a non-specific use of the word. 🙂

  2. Steph Sorensen Says:

    It sometimes helps people when you ask them to repeat the sentence leaving one or the other out. If they say “Mary went to the mall with him and I,” then ask them if they wouldn’t mind repeating that, leaving out the “him and.” They will usually realize how stupid it sounds after they’ve said “Mary went to the mall with I.”

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