Pet Grammatical Peeves

25 Nov

Koala

Some pets are cute as can be–but not my pet grammatical peeves.

I lay no claim to grammatical perfection. However, I do strive to employ what my teachers taught me in grammar and high school.

It was a little country school with only 200 students in grades one through 12—but we had, I think, some of the best teachers in the world.

I have to admit, too, that my first editor, Father Alexander O. Sigur, tried his best to put the finishing touches on what my teachers, try as they might, had failed to pound into my little Cajun head.

A case in point

Father Sigur was editor of the Lafayette, La. diocesan paper. He read all our copy. We usually were busy writing or laying out the paper on deadline when, suddenly, we would hear a loud, “Number!” as his palm slapped the surface of his desk.

He had discovered one of our grammatical sins, for example:

“Each person must bring their own Bible.” For you, dear reader, who did not have the blessing of such an editor: “Each person” is singular, and “their” is plural—and that ain’t right. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

            Solution: “Each person must bring a Bible.” Or, “Participants must each bring a Bible.”

Another case in point

“The cop chased Bob and I.” Now, that is rather silly, is it not? I can’t imagine you’d ever say, “The cop chased I.”

Another Pet Peeve

What bothers me, you know, it’s like, you know, I mean, when people, even preachers and teachers, like, you know, can’t say anything without “like” and “you know” and “I mean.”

It isn’t “like” people who use such lame lingo, it’s the people. And if I already know, don’t bother telling me. If I don’t know, just tell me. And, dear friend, don’t tell me that you “mean” what you are going to say, just say what you mean.

We use speech and language to communicate. Watered-down grammar is a sign of a slothful society, a society on the verge of losing both class and focus.

Now, just for the sake of honesty: I sent this along to my Dear Proofreader who constantly saves me from grammatical embarrassment.

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4 Responses to “Pet Grammatical Peeves”

  1. tlnews2013 November 25, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    I share some of your pets, especially “for Mary and I.” Folks want to stay away from “Me and my buddies went to the game,” but this “me phobia” leads right to “for I.” Ouch! Best wishes.

    Tom Lorsung Sent from my iPad

  2. JAMES M ISADORE November 26, 2013 at 2:07 am #

    Loved it, Deacon Henry. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Peggy and the gang.

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