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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Teacher Tuesday: Reader Mail For The Dept. And Me (Or Should That Be I?)

Devoted and Long-Time Reader John from Gettysburg sent me an email today questioning me about this sentence in yesterday's post:

The parade will provide several opportunities for Rick and I to exhibit our complete lack of awareness in the areas of Broadway Musicals, Cartoon Stars, and B/C-List Celebrities...

wondering specifically about the particular phrase for Rick and I.

I wish John did not live so far away in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, because he really needs to be right here in Northeast Ohio to give me a Good Hard Smack. Immediately and with Great Alacrity.

Because, holy crap, what a Rookie Mistake. And if I saw it or heard it anyplace, I'd be all over it like...well, Me On A Grammatical Or Spelling Error Made By Someone Who Knows Better.

I'm so mortified, my face is falling off.

But every Mistake is a Learning Opportunity, so here is the reason why the phrase should have been for Rick and me:

"For" is a preposition; therefore, it requires an object, the objective case pronoun "me." One way to check is to remove the compound ("several opportunities for me"). You wouldn't say "several opportunities for I", would you? No, nor would I, even though I made that silly error.

"Perhaps this will make Nance more forgiving and less of a Language Martinet," some people may be saying. Sadly, they would be wrong.

And yes, of course I corrected yesterday's post.

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12 comments:

  1. It's great that John provided you with blog fodder for today's post, and I love the idea of being so mortified that your face falls off. LOL. (I do not LOL lightly, btw)

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    1. J@jj--John is a perfect gentleman as well, which makes this all the easier to tolerate (even though it is shameful and horrifying and akin to walking out of a restroom and into a party whilst not knowing you have tucked the back of your dress into your pantyhose). I am glad you had the opportunity to LOL. These days, we need all the LOLing we can get.

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  2. I feel so much better knowing the English teacher is as bad as I/me!

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  3. I saw that error but since YOU made it I questioned if I had the rule right in my head. LOL

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    1. Jean--Oh, goodness. That's too much.

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  4. I feel I may be indirectly responsible for this by mentioning hypercorrection in my comment on Ungrammatical Sign Saturday (I know your name is catchier, but am rushing to write this and can't remember its precise name) and thereby influencing your subconscious (OK, maybe not, but since my blog is a barren wasteland these days, I'd like to take credit for accomplishing something - anything! - so I'm grasping.) In addition, I am always delighted when someone preaches the Gospel of Direct Object Pronouns (this topic comes up far more often in foreign language teaching than it does in English, I suspect - and since so few are aware of it in English to begin with, teaching the concept in L2 is always an Uphill Battle) - besides, you got a post out of it 2 days before Thanksgiving, AND you used it to provide a Teachable Moment/valuable reminder. We're all winners here, Nance.

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    1. MsCaroline--Bless your heart. I'm making No Excuses. It was a "lapse of lingy", to steal a phrase.
      I must gather the tattered remnants of my Linguistic Pride and sweep onward majestically.

      Which I shall.

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  5. I have to admit that I corrected it in my head and moved on. :-)

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    1. Bridget--Good woman. That sentence could be my life (except for the "moving on" part).

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  6. Nance, you should see my first drafts of the things I write. I usually shoot for 900 to 1,000 word blogs and in that content will be at least 10 grammar things that need correcting. Sometimes I read over them 3-4 times before I'll catch them. I think our mind's eye auto-corrects them even if that's not how we actually wrote something.

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    1. Jean--I labour for a couple of hours over each blogpost. Ideally, I'd save, then come back a few hours later with a fresh eye and reread/proofread each entry before I hit publish. That isn't always possible, especially this month when I'm trying to write six days a week. The phenomenon of autocorrecting is real. You know what you meant to say, so you see it/read it that way, especially when it's immediately after you write it.

      Or right now, after a few glasses of postprandial wine.

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Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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