Tuesday, October 13, 2009
That Insidious Grammar Disease
"For he and I."
Pardon me while I rant. I first ran a post like this one three years ago, and the situation has only grown more dire since then. This subject-turned-direct-object thing is really getting old. A good 90% of the population now spouts such nonsense.
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. I tell you, I'm reading nonfiction books these days with this kind of mistake in it. Which means the authors are writing it, the macro editors are missing it, the line editors are missing it, the copyeditors are missing it, and the proofreaders are missing it. Why? Because they've heard it so much, they now think it's right.
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 Using 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!
AnitaS is the winner from Photo Friday, with this caption:
Can you hear me now? Does your child exhibit selective hearing when it's time to leave the park? Then try the Attention Grabber! This little tool will suck your child's ear right up to it so there's no way he can ignore the sound of your voice telling him it's time to go. Stay tuned for the portable conveyor belt making it easier to then drag your kicking & screaming child from the park!
Anita, please email me with your choice of one of my novels and include your address. Send to: brandilyn (at) brandilyncollins (dot) com.