Some of the people pushing English as the official language of the United States barely can speak it themselves.Â I am especially upset about the trend over about the last 10 years of what I call “pronoun confusion.”Â I refer to this kind of statement:
“John drove Mary and I to the mall.”
Argggggggh!Â Who would ever say:
“John drove I to the mall.” ????
But adding the “Mary and” to the above makes it correct?Â No way!Â The word is “me” as in:
“John drove Mary and me to the mall”
“John drove me to the mall.”
Goodness gracious, how many people talk like that now?Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â This has been turned around so that the “I” becomes the object of other verbs, I guess in a bizarre attempt to sound correct.Â (Despite this, still no one says “It is I.”)Â I live in Kentucky, so you are probably thinking that this is probably the least of the grammatical problems I should be worrying about.Â (How about “It ain’t took yet?”)Â 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.Â 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??Â If you search for “Americans are stupid” on YouTube and watch the videos, you’ll see that we definitely need to do something.