Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Grammar Shock

Pardon me while I rant.

This subject-turned-direct-object thing is really getting old. A good 90% of the population now spouts such nonsense as “That’s for he and I.”

I have no idea who started this idiocy, but I do have distinct memories of beginning to hear it. Somehow it caught on more and more until today people do things for subjects regardless of their level of education or socio-economic status. People with college degrees, masters and even doctorates have fallen prey to the For Subject Syndrome. Professionals as well as blue collar workers have been hit. The For Subject Syndrome has so permeated our society that even writers, professional speakers, and preachers are among the victims.

You tell a teenager, “No, say ‘it’s for him and me’”—and the kid will look at you like you’re crazy. That’s because this highly contagious Syndrome has been around since these kids started talking. They don’t know life without its affliction.

The funny thing is, the For Subject Syndrome is selective. You don’t hear people say, “That one’s for I.” As long as the direct object is single, you’ll hear the proper “me” or “her,” etc. But when the direct object doubles, watch out. The Syndrome kicks in.

How can we stop the madness? Is there no inoculation for this insidious disease?

I hereby proclaim a new national organization to fight this monstrous plague—KUDOS. Keep Utilizing Direct Objects Society. Members have but one decree—to wipe the For Subject Syndrome off the planet. Every time you spot an FSS in writing—point it out, and earn KUDOS. Every time you hear an FSS spoken—shake your finger at the speaker and earn KUDOS.

Who will join me in this worthy organization? KUDOS members, unite!

State your intent to join, then document
a recent occurrence of FSS—and start earning your KUDOS today. Together we can restore our world.


Robin Lee Hatcher said...

Brandilyn, can we add something else to your KUDOS? The thing that drives me nuts (and when I started hearing it on the news and from the pulpit I went into despair) is: "Please see John or myself after the service." "It's John or me!" I want to scream. Ack! As I member of KUDOS, I will certainly shake my finger at the speakers over this syndrome.


eileen said...

I'll have the banners printed! KUDOS unite!

Tina said...

I'm on board. My theory is that this started because people got the idea it's always wrong to use me. They didn't get it when their mothers corrected them for saying, "Sharon and me went to the store." All they gleaned was that when you're paired with anyone else, you become I not me.

But together we can fight!

John Robinson said...

KUDOS, huh? Sounds great! Me's in! *G*

Domino said...

This same thing has been bugging me for years too. I've heard it in song lyrics as well as all the people you mentioned. When I got a little vocal about it, people looked at me like I was insanely picky about such a "little" thing. Now I try to keep my mouth closed so people don't avoid me.

I guess if I wanted to say something without correcting people, I could just be blatantly wrong in front of the offenders with "Talk to I" and "Go with I" etc.

Personally, I would call it OOPS!
Object Of Preposition Society!

(FSS and KUDOS are fine acronyms too.)

Megan DiMaria said...

Oh, Brandilyn. You just crack me up. However, I do feel your pain.

Ron Estrada said...

BC, I can't believe you can be so insensitive! FSS is not a disease, it's how God made these people. FSS is a perfectly acceptable alternative lifestyle. Oprah said so. Now get off your radical right-wing fundamentalist high horse and give your FSS afflicted child a big ol' smack on the lips and tell him or her that you love them just the way they be!

CHickey said...

I'll join KUDOS. Can't speak what don't sound natural.

Lynette Sowell said...

Doctors even commit this crime. Do I get KUDOS if I correct them as I transcribe? There is also the dreaded: "Both her and her husband state that..." Where's she?? :)

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Kudos to Brandilyn for giving...me or us, perfectly acceptable here...a new buzz word

KUDOS catchers unite!

Becky said...

Well, I'm in if I'm critiquing someone. I refuse to stand up in church and correct my pastor though. ;-) Not that HE uses such offensive OOPs.

I think it started with the pseudo-intellects trying to sound impressive by saying what no one else says. Like It is I. Now that one is grammatically correct but sounds snooty. I think the pretend-intelligence crowd thought that was the way to sound when hoping to impress, so they slap the "I" in whenever normal people would say "me." So now it's spreading because, who doesn't want to be on the side of the people who "sound" smart?


Karen Wevick said...

It's all about ME!!! This is one of the few English grammar rules I really got in school. It's so easy. However you would say it in the singular, use that same work in the plural. Therefore, it's all about you and ME. But not to worry, in a few years it will be a rule.

MaryAnn Diorio said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MaryAnn Diorio said...

'm ranting with you, Brandilyn. As a grammar purist, whenever I come across a subject-for-object culprit, I react as I do when fingernails scrape across a chalkboard.

Count me in as a member of KUDOS.


4:29 AM

Myra said...

Finally!!! I thought I was completely alone in this crusade! Consider ME signed up. I can't begin to list all the FSS infractions I encounter in the course of a day. Kudos for KUDOS!!

Patricia W. said...

Hadn't thought about it but have to confess...

Is there room in KUDOS for those of us who may need some re-education? (My teacher mother will hang me by my thumbnails if she ever finds out.)

D. Gudger said...

Uh, what's a direkt objekt?

You see, them ain't teeching grammer or speling in skool aneemore. Kidz is teached how 2 beekome little liberals :)

Ain't a prepozishun some sort of anti-itch kreem?