Dear Grammar Police,

I wanted to thank you publicly for noticing a grammatical error in my recent column with regard to my use of the pronoun “I.” Apparently I had written, “the kids and I,” when I should have said “the kids and me.” This was a gross error of unparalleled magnitude and I apologize profusely for committing this miscarriage of syntax and offending your finely tuned grammatical sensibilities. I realize that as a writer, I should be well-schooled in the use of “I vs. Me,” but it’s (its?) often difficult to remember all the rules when I’m focused on much less important things like making sure my humor column is funny, which, actually, sometimes necessitates breaking beloved grammar rules (the shock, the horror).

 

 

 

 

The truth is, there (their? they’re?) are so many rules to remember, (:? ;?) such as not ending a sentence with a preposition like another writer does who (whom? that?) I went to school with. Or a sentence fragment. And starting a sentence with a conjunction. I’m sure my 3rd grade English teacher Mrs. Kinsler (may she rest in peace. Or is it piece?) would be appalled to know that I had not yet mastered the “I vs. Me” rule. She once sent a letter home to my parents and I (me and my parents?) about my ongoing problems with this rule, and one time she even sent me to the principal (principle??) because of it. He assured Ms. Kindler that in spite of my grammatical challenges, I would, in all likelihood, manage to eek through 3rd grade English, and might even learn enough from this embarrassing situation to one day become an english teacher myself, or at the very least, a newspaper copy editor.

He assured Ms. Kindler that in spite of my grammatical challenges, I would, in all likelihood, manage to eek through 3rd grade English.

Still, neither the principal nor Ms. Kinsler could have anticipated that certain grammatical concepts might continue to be an issue for me as an adult (well, Mrs. Kindler probably did), and I must admit, I am somewhat ashamed that while I no longer end a sentence with a preposition, I vs. Me is something I still have a problem with.

Sadly, as a writer in today’s technological age, I have become lazy and prefer to spend my time lying (laying?) around eating bon bons and letting the computer’s spell and grammar check do the work for me. This is a continual (continuous?) challenge for me and something I know I need to work on because it affects (effects?) my readers who (whom?) count on me to get it right (write? rite? Jeez.).

 

I plan to address this forthwith (in a fortnight, actually, if I am being forthcoming), and assure you, my editors and I (and me? Me and my editors? Whatever) will make every attempt to make sure this does not happen again.

Thank you so much for your understanding. You sound like someone I could really be friends with.

Sincerely, or most sincerely, but definitely not sincerefully,

Tracy Beckerman

 

©2020, Beckerman. All rights reserved. Follow Tracy on her Facebook Fan page at Facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage,  join the Lost in Midlife group at facebook.com/groups/lostinmidlife/ and follow on Instagram @TracyinMidlife

 

6 Comments

  • g

    ?????

  • Elle

    Eek! I thought you might eke out an even longer apology I was so entertained. I found a 50s era photo that I saved to a Pinterest board that shows a woman smiling with the caption “I’m silently correcting your grammar.” THAT is how polite society manages this problem. I believe the same people coined the term “passive-aggressive” shortly after this, but I could be wrong. Thanks for the laugh.

    • admin

      My pet peeve is your/you’re! But even I screw them up sometimes (not to make excuses for myself, but a lot of times autocorrect may change my there to their without me noticing). But when I see people posting on FB with really bad grammar, it does make me cringe and I have to bite my tongue, or rather not type a response to keep from correcting them.

  • Bobbie

    Your so funny!♥️??‍♀️♥️

  • Anne Wilt

    Hi Tracy,

    Can I ask you this – why to people say “graduated high school” instead of “Graduated FROM high school”. Also, they say they are “going to prom” instead of “going to THE prom”.

    Even the newscasters, use those phrases, and I was under the impression that those people are supposed to speak with correct grammar. It’s just as bad as “irregardless”.

    • admin

      Sometimes an article (the, from) isn’t necessary in what’s considered casual English, especially if it is a sentence that has worked its way into the lexicon as a phrase. We said “going to the prom” years ago until the eighties when the movie The Breakfast Club“ came out. In the movie, the main characters all said “going to prom,” almost as though Prom was a proper name. The movie was so popular, teenagers began to use that phrase and now it has become the preferred way for kids to say it. You and I would still say going to the prom, because that’s how it was said when we went. As you know, irregardless isn’t a word, and that bugs me, too, just like when I hear people say expresso instead of espresso, or supposeably instead of supposedly. As for the newscasters, I’m surprised that you’ve heard them say that. They must be trying to sound hip! Interesting questions.. thanks for asking!

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