Sunday, July 26, 2015

Grammatical pet peeves...

I have a lot of them.  Just this morning, I read an article about Amy "famewhore" Duggar, who is about to get married to her man, recently posted about how TLC will not be filming their nuptials.  Her betrothed, Dillon King, writes "Amy and myself apologize that we will not be able to share our special day with you all on the TLC network.”  That is a prime example of reflexive pronoun abuse.

I hate it when people write or say "myself" when they really mean "I" or "me".  It's usually people who think they sound more intelligent when they say something like, "Please give your answer to John or myself." instead of "Please give your answer to John or me."  If you took John out of the equation, you wouldn't say "Please give your answer to myself."  That doesn't make sense.  You would say, "Please give your answer to me." or, better still, use the active voice and write "Please give me your answer."  So you should be saying, "Please give John or me your answer."  Reflexive pronouns should not be used as subjects.  They should only be used as objects.

But, I guess it's too much to ask Amy and "Dill" to speak and write English.  They certainly aren't the only ones who fuck up this fine grammatical point, either.  Reflexive pronoun abuse is rife among English speakers.

Amy writes "It's an exciting time for Dill and I."  I want to say, "Hey Amy!  Do you always refer to yourself as 'I'?"  Do you think she goes around saying things like "This dress fits I perfectly."  Or "That gift is for I."  No, I doubt she does.  In those situations, she has probably learned to use the pronoun "me".  So, no Amy.  It's not an exciting time for "Dill and I".  It's an exciting time for "Dill and me."

I know learning proper English is a challenge for many people.  I have been struggling with German and finally ended up starting a language hiatus a month ago.  I need to get back on the language wagon and try to enhance my skills a bit.  That way, if anyone bitches Bill or me out when we visit a restaurant, I will have the appropriate language skills to respond in kind instead of just relying on bitchface.      

We didn't go anywhere yesterday.  I was feeling too sad and the wind was blowing like crazy.  It was actually really nice outside and I probably should have enjoyed it.  I decided not to.  Drank some wine instead and listened to music.  Today, we may visit a fest and go to the commissary... Whoopee!


  1. I'd love to have the luxury of pronoun misuse be my primary language pet peeve. Actually, I shouldn't complain so much, because at school everything is fine, and the most egregious errors are by those still workinng at mastering English as a second language. I have patience with them because A) they're doing much better than I would be doing were I learning their language; amd B) once the educated ESL students master English, they typically speak it with a textbook perfection that is music to my ears.

    Where I encountered my greatest English language misuse vexations was just outside the immediate enclave in which I lived from the ages of nine to sizteen-and-one-half. My community itself was considered one of the most educated enclaves in the U.S., but there wasn't much separating it from the backwoods, or the inner city, where the Jerry Springer element prevailed. In both settings, the use of the double negative was standard, and the word "doesn't" did not exist. Why use the word "doesn't'" when "don't" is such a nice catch-all contracted verb? One does not need to bother to learn when to use
    "don't" and when to use "doesn't" if one simply uses "don't" in all uses for either form of the conjugation. I want to scream, as does my entire family, when I hear "he don't," "she don't," or "it don't."

    I'm crossing political correctness lines with this next complaint, but when I did my elementary education internship in a school populated partially be children from the inner city, It was tough helping those children to make sense of the word "ask." They couldn't phonetically decode it because such a word did not exist in their vocabulary. They probounced it "ax." If you've read much Mark Twain, you know that the particular ethnic peonunciartion of the word dates at least back to Twain's times. It has to be taught as an irregular sight word to children of that ethnic group. When doing reading assessments, one cannot count the pronunciation as as error because it's considered dialectical. My mom says when she taught, she did tell children who used that pronunciation that most people pronounce the word /ask/, but if their family and friends say /aks and they're more comfortable pronouncing it that way, that, too, is OK. She says she would have liked to have told the older students of the particular ethnicity that they were handicapping themselves by continuing to pronounce the word /aks/ in work or educational settings but didn't want to risk a lawsuit if a kid repeated what she said to an overly zealous pastor or community advocate.

    I've noticed that neither POTUS nor FLOTUS uses the particular dialectical variation. In POTUS' case, he may have briefly picked it up as an affectation and/or for the purpose of trying to fit in, but as he was not raised by anyone who would have used that particular dialectical variation, it certainly wasn't something he would have grown up using. Where FLOTUS is concerned, It may be that her parents always insisted upon standard English, or she may have lost the variation as she gained education. Either way, I'd like to see lame duck POTUS and FLOTUS take that one on as an issue for children, but they'd probably just be considered "uppity" by those whose lives they were trying to enrich, and would ultimately get nowhere with it.

    1. It's one thing if it's someone learning the language or even a dialectical thing. It's another when it's a native English speaker whose family is famous for homeschooling. I think Amy might have gone to public school, though, which is a further indictment.

      And then, I'm also an admitted snob when it comes to this stuff.

  2. Double negatives from adults whose forst language is English is most perturbing to me.

  3. Yes, that's another one that gets under my skin. I could probably spend all day writing about annoying grammatical errors.


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