Writing, Blogging, and Speaking, Intelligently

I have met people with PhD’s who say things like this:

“Her and me went to the movies.”

“This gift is for she and I.”

It’s okay. There really are solutions to these problems, and you don’t have to diagram a sentence to find them.

While this may peg me as a language snob, I think twice before I listen to a surgeon who says, “This is a situation for I to be concerned about. Trust me.”

Oh yeah? I’m going to feel good about a first-generation English speaker who, after, what? 10, 12, 14 years of higher education learning how to use a knife still doesn’t know when to use “me” and “I” correctly in a sentence? What else did he miss?

At the same time, I recognize that this particular problem — when to say “Him and Me” and when to say “He and I” — is one that stumps a lot of people (the only time it really bothers me is when the people it stumps hold PhD’s).

There are other things that good, intelligent people have issues with: Is It’s Is or Its? Does anybody use Whom anymore? Is it really a sin to end a sentence with a preposition? And while we’re on the subject, what is a sentence, anyway?

Because I’m a writer — and a daughter whose mother was insistent that I know the meaning and use of the nominative and accusative cases — these questions don’t bother me. But I know that  they bother others, and for this reason I wrote Grammar Despair, an easy-to-read, user friendly guide with the answers to some of writing’s most common questions.

Grammar Despair is initially available in e-book form (I’m working on the hard copy; I’ll let you know when it’s ready) at Amazon.com. You don’t need an e-reader to access it, because Amazon can download it directly to your computer — on the right of the Amazon page, below the Buy Now with One Click button, hit the Deliver To drop-down box and choose Transfer Via Computer. You can also read it on your Kindle, iPad, iPod, or Droid.

On the Amazon site, you can look inside the book, including the complete table of contents, to see what you get for the same price as one of those flavored coffee frappuccino things. Just add me to the order with your muffin, please.

More and more people are writing these days — blogs, e-mails, business letters, articles — and while we can say that it’s prescriptive and narrow to insist on certain language conventions, at some point, it matters that we address these issues correctly.

I can help you with that.

The link below will take you to the Amazon page where Grammar Despair is for sale, and you can look part of it over, for free.

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6 Responses to “Writing, Blogging, and Speaking, Intelligently”

  1. Miki T-B says:

    Poor grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc., drive me up a tree, too. I, too, had a parent (my father, a college professor, in my case) that drilled it into my brother and me about correct grammar, etc. PS: I do use “whom” and I know when to use it!

    • I, too, use “whom,” although I confess that sometimes, I must run the sentence over in my head first and determine whether I am correct in doing so. But I figure, “Even if I’m not, who will notice?”

      All of us who treasure language and language mechanics can do our part, every day, to keep the standard high.

  2. CC says:

    I don’t know much about these things, yet when it hits me over the head in news articles – I am left speechless that so called professionals have no clue how stupid they really are.

    • Cheryl: Years ago, we subscribed to a newspaper that wrote an entire article about how it was no longer responsible for editing mistakes, because they “didn’t have time” to check for them, and would people please stop writing to point these mistakes out.

      I firmly believe that newspapers can have a valued place in increasing the literacy level of their readers, and I hope that more of them choose to take the high road and do so.

  3. tina says:

    above: “The link below will take you to the Amazon page where Grammar Despair is for sale, and you can part of it over, for free.”
    typo? i can ‘look part of it over, for free?’ probably?

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