English-Only Fans Need To Learn English

Some of the people pushing English as the official language of the United States barely can speak it themselves.  I am especially upset about the trend over about the last 10 years of what I call “pronoun confusion.”  I refer to this kind of statement:

“John drove Mary and I to the mall.”

Argggggggh!  Who would ever say:

“John drove I to the mall.” ????

But adding the “Mary and” to the above makes it correct?  No way!  The word is “me” as in:

“John drove Mary and me to the mall”

and

“John drove me to the mall.”

Goodness gracious, how many people talk like that now?  I have heard people in all walks of life use “I” in this way, including Barack Obama, Joe Scarborough, Keith Olbermann, and every news-bimbo at Fox News.  Actually the more conservative, older commentators, such as Pat Buchanan, and even Brit Hume (at Fox) wouldn’t be caught dead making such a mistake.  It’s the younger folk, subjected to a generation of teachers who themselves speak that way and know nothing about grammar who are the worst offenders.

How this got started I have no idea.  I suspect it has some tortured relationship to the fact that the verb “to be” takes the nominative case, so that “It is I” is correct and “It is me” is wrong, despite the fact everyone uses the latter form nowadays.  This has been turned around so that the “I” becomes the object of other verbs, I guess in a bizarre attempt to sound correct.  (Despite this, still no one says “It is I.”)  I live in Kentucky, so you are probably thinking that this is probably the least of the grammatical problems I should be worrying about.  (How about “It ain’t took yet?”)  But the “I” for “me” thing is said on TV all the time by people who should know better, and falls into a small category of commong errors (such as “drug” for “dragged,” “snuck” for “sneaked”) that I know will eventually spell the end of our language.  Will our great-grandchildren speak Pidgin English?

Regarding the English-only fans, most Europeans speak better English than Americans, and maybe if we all learned a second language we’d get a little smarter??  If you search for “Americans are stupid” on YouTube and watch the videos, you’ll see that we definitely need to do something.

About mannd

I am a retired cardiac electrophysiologist who has worked both in private practice in Louisville, Kentucky and as a Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado in Denver. I am interested not only in medicine, but also in computer programming, music, science fiction, fantasy, 30s pulp literature, and a whole lot more.

3 thoughts on “English-Only Fans Need To Learn English

  1. Bingo! I’ve heard some really outrageous semi-English phrases at my workplace here in KY.

    Q. Did you ever have any surgery?
    A. “I had my pendix tookin out.”

    Q. Did she have lunch yet?
    A. “No, she ain’t et yet.”

    Q. What is one of your strengths?
    A. “I can read real good.”

    Q. May I read your explanation?
    A. “No, it ain’t wrote down.”

    Adverbs have virtually disappeared here. One reads “good”, walks “slow”, and writes “bad”. No one seems to be able to conjugate English verbs. Even college educated Kentuckians routinely say, “He don’t” or “she don’t”. The word “your” is confused with “you’re” – (even my last spam email from Newsmax.com had this title: “Imagine having a heart attack before your 50!” When my children were in elementary school (in Colorado at the time), teacher notes routinely contained this error.

    And I think you can just forget about objective and subjective cases!

    “Her and I are going shopping.”
    “He gave the chart to him and I.”
    “Me and him are busy right now.”

    You’re right about Obama, but generally his grammar is excellent which is what one would expect from the Harvard attorney. However, I’ve even heard him make this common case error when he said, “The reverend was a source of comfort for Michelle and I.” (I forgive him, though.)

    I’ve never heard Andrea Mitchell or Hillary Clinton use anything but excellent English. Patrick Buchanan and most of the MSNBC’ers are great, and so are most of the CNN commentators. Fox Noise news clowns are awful.

    Is this all superficial? Perhaps it is. However, bad grammar is a true handicap. You can have an IQ of 170, but if you say things such as, “She drugged herself outta bed,” then people won’t take you seriously even though that might not be fair.

    As an example of this, consider Walmart where express check out lanes say “Less than 15 items”. Target is considered by many to be just a tad classier than WalMart. I doubt it’s more than a subtle improvement in image rather than anything substantive. The fact that Target express lanes say, “Fewer than 15 items” says a lot more than how many items one can purchase at the express lane.

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