Sunday, October 31, 2010

Grammarcide

"Give it to I." "It was a good day for he." Why can't people think this through and use grammar correctly? "It was a good day for he and the other guy" - should be, "it was a good day for *him* and the other guy" - and "give it to Bob or I" - should be, "give it to Bob or me" - please, America, think when you speak. "I" and "he" (and "she") are SUBJECTS, not OBJECTS - they go before a verb, not after a preposition. (With the exception, of course, of the case where a clause is the object of a preposition, such as "It was a good day for I found my true love" - that could, of course, be punctuated like this: "It was a good day, for I found my true love." However, "It was a good day for my true love and I" - no, that's not correct - it should be, "It was a good day for my true love and me" - think it through: you'd say, "It was a good day for her" and "it was a good day for me" - not "she" and "I" in either case here.)

This is becoming more and more prominent in "modern" English. All over the place you'll hear people talking and using subject-form pronouns as objects of a preposition after a conjunction (and, but, or, etc.). Please, stop this tragic slaughtering of the English language. If you are using this incorrect grammar yourself, get help... there are places you can go (e.g., junior colleges), people you can call (I'll be happy to help; feel free to send me a direct tweet ("@kingdad") and I'll do my best to reply swiftly with the correct form of the statement you wish to make, or contact your local English professor). If you find yourself in a situation where someone is performing such awful grammarcide, you have some options:
  1. If you are comfortable with the person, are a risk taker, or don't mind confrontation, you may approach the individual directly. Note that it is recommended that, if the person is in a public speech situation, such as giving a lecture, in a pulpit, or live on the radio or TV, it is highly recommended that you wait until a more private moment to confront the offending individual.
  2. If you are not comfortable with the person, please contact your nearest office of grammatical correction for assistance.
  3. If you are a jerk, blatantly post the offender's offensive speech in a public scenario, such as a web log ("blog") or other media outlet which has an indefinite lifetime.
Regardless, we must rise up and retake our language. English... it's not just for professors anymore!

2 comments:

Dean Lusk said...

Hear, hear!

"If you are using this incorrect grammar yourself, get help..." This is one of my two favorite phrases in the post. The other one is this: "If you are not comfortable with the person, please contact your nearest office of grammatical correction for assistance."

It doesn't help that grammar is butchered in advertisements and songs (the latter is surely only done using artistic license. I'm positive that songwriters actually know to use "me" in appropriate cases rather than using "I" all the time, right?).

These kinds of things drive grammatical apathy into our heads, in I's opinion.

I'm an offender in some areas, so I'm only casting the smaller-sized stones here. But they're sharp ones. :-)

Christy said...

Yes, Dean, I seem to recall you being perturbed with one of my songs because I went with what sounded better (meaning it rhymed) instead of what was proper. Of course that was probably the very least of the things that perturbed you with my songs. ha! That was a long time ago.

Tony, you know that I agree with you. However, I hate to admit that I have caved on more than one occasion because I didn't want the person I was talking to think I was a snob. Stupid, I know.