Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More grammar woes - grammar snob am I

I can't stop getting uptight, annoyed, grinding my teeth, wondering if I am out of the loop -
it's all about the universal misuse of pronouns.  Are we heading toward the day when sentences such as "Sonja and him make a great pair," "My coach and me went to the finals," "Her and my mom are best friends"are standard English?

I could fill page after page after page with quotes from the media - among them, yesterday's from Luann, one of the New York housewives, and a "Countess" who has written an etiquette book.  She is responsible for the first of the quotes above.

Will the day arrive when English handbooks accept the objective pronoun as the subjective one?
Usage, so they say, is fluent and subject to change.  My mother used to insist on the proper use of "whom" rather than "who."  When I hear it used correctly nowadays, it sounds quite stilted.

Do teachers even bother to correct their students, or are they setting the example? When I was calling on college professors, representing a major educational textbook publisher, I met many who taught essay writing but admitted that they did not correct students' grammar  - implying it would inhibit creativity.

Which leads to more than one generation of graduates and post-graduates who mangle the language blissfully - and us older fuddy-duddies whose numbers grow smaller every day.

1 comment:

terrylims said...

My favorite mistake to spot these days is the subjectivation (??) of 'me' to 'I', as in "My dad gave my sister and I . . .". When I was learning English all my teachers tried to make sure we knew all the forms of the pronouns and when to use them. However, using 'I' instead of 'me' has become very common and I wonder when or if it is going to change language usage enough to become acceptable. I still can't use it this way.