Wednesday, July 17, 2013

THE GRAMMAR BITCH IS BACK

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

As you may have noticed, grammar has become a recurring topic on my blog. Why? I am The Queen of Grammar. Additionally, I have a grammar badge, presented to me by the fabulous fishducky.


If you don't follow fishducky at fishducky, finally!, then may God help you because I can't.

As your Queen, I've welcomed your recent grammatical inquiries and pet peeves.

Today, I'll focus on two topics.

First, Little Lotta Joy at Witless Relocation Program asked the following question: Is it: "I wish I were" or "I wish I was"

Thank you for this excellent question, Dana Joy Wyzard, author of Treadwell, a great novel available from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Treadwell-Sheltered-Foothills-Southern-Reclusive/dp/1483603644.

The answer is "I wish I were". Think subjunctive, but if you can't remember to think subjunctive, then remember that if you're talking or writing about a situation that's contrary to fact, then it's were.

Second, Susan Flett Swiderski at I Think; Therefore, I Yam commented: The grammar bug-a-boo that sticks in my craw these days is the mismatch of noun and pronoun. For example: "It's necessary for one to always do it themselves." And I am seeing this being done in blog posts, emails, magazines, newspapers, and books. Being done by writers who should know better! Or is it just me? Has someone changed the rules while I was taking a nap?

Susan, "they" tried to change the rules while you were napping, but with everyone's help, we'll stop those darn would-be rule changers. Please, Gentle Readers, make your nouns and pronouns match. If you're talking or writing about one person, then the pronoun can't be they. However, if you want to avoid the somewhat messy he/she matter, then make your noun plural and you can use they as your pronoun. When in doubt, consult your Queen.

Thank you, Susan Flett Swiderski, author of the excellent novel Hot Flashes & Cold Lemonade, available from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Flashes-Lemonade-Susan-Flett-Swiderski/dp/148489071X.

I soon shall finish reading Hot Flashes & Cold Lemonade, available from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Flashes-Lemonade-Susan-Flett-Swiderski/dp/148489071X. When I'm done reading Hot Flashes & Cold Lemonade, available from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Flashes-Lemonade-Susan-Flett-Swiderski/dp/148489071X, it will be the subject of a rave review on this-a-here blog because I loves me some Hot Flashes & Cold Lemonade. Did I mention you can buy it on Amazon? Check out http://www.amazon.com/Flashes-Lemonade-Susan-Flett-Swiderski/dp/148489071X.

Now for a couple of quick reminders, just in case you missed these grammatical concerns:

Adorable Andi at delusions of ingenuity pointed out that the past tense of drag is dragged. Charming Susie at loonysuse asked if I prefer dived or dove. I told her that dove is the traditional answer, but dived has become acceptable, even to me. But Gentle Readers, whether you dived or dove yesterday, I hope the water was sufficiently deep.

Finally, I want to bring up a matter that does not concern grammar, but it does concern humanity. I hope you'll read Mayor Gia's post about the murder of Trayvon Martin at http://mayorgia.blogspot.com/2013/07/well-isnt-this-fucked-up-and-bullshit.html. Gia first published this post after Trayvon's death. She re-posted it after his murderer was found not guilty. It remains the best post I've read about Trayvon Martin.

As for the verdict, I didn't watch the trial. I strongly suspect that the prosecutors failed to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, if Trayvon Martin had killed George Zimmerman, then I strongly suspect that the prosecutors would have found a way to prove Trayvon Martin guilty -- without a doubt.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug






41 comments:

  1. I love to think in the subjunctive, but I am in the minority. I had a student once tell me subjunctive sounded like an eye disease.

    Good and benevolent Queen of Grammar, thank you for your wise reign. May the sun never set on your kingdom.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I feel so regal after your visits. But good golly Miss Molly! I've misplaced my crown.

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  2. Thanks for the shoutout! And that last paragraph is so true. If Trayvon had killed Zimmerman - or their races were reversed - I feel like no one would have even questioned his guilt.

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    1. Statistics have demonstrated for many years that black people who commit the same crimes as white people receive more severe punishments, especially being sentenced to death.

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  3. I'm so glad Pink Floyd never recorded a song called "Wish You Was Here."

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  4. Thanks for the grammar lesson Teach! I will keep on guard and hope I never make these mistakes! Never know who is 'watching'.....

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Big Brother is watching . . . hahahahahahaha!

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  5. Puuuuleeeze!

    I bet of you!

    Don't read my blog too closely!

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    Replies
    1. I haven't noticed any problems with your blog. It's adorable. I love your adventures with Mr. Jenny.

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  6. One can never have too many grammar lessons. But like that bad guy said in a movie: I don't need no stinkin' badges!. Take care.

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    1. I love my stinkin' badge. Maybe I should pull an Elvis and collect badges. Maybe I can even get one from President Nixon.

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  7. Thank you, Silver Fox. Good mnemonic device.

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    1. You can follow Mr. Fox at The Lair of the Silver Fox. He is a well-known Grammar Nazi. I prefer my queenly status.

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  8. "I wish I were," is one of those things I've wondered about, too. I'm glad you've cleared that up (along with all the other things). You're such a good Grammar Queen!

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    1. Thank you. I live to serve my subjects -- and predicates.

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    2. But here's the best answer: was=informal, were=normal/formal
      How do I know? Because I'm the Blue Grammar King ;)

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    3. Darling, you can't be the Blue Grammar King. I am The Grammar Queen, and I have no king in any shade of blue.

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  9. I hate how a lot of BBC newsreaders say 'secetary' instead of 'secretary' and 'drawring' instead of 'drawing'. They are the BBC for God's sake, the most English institution in the world.

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    Replies
    1. I imagine that makes you want to shoot your television, as Elvis was famous for doing when annoyed.

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  10. Oh...Grammar Queen... What shall we doeth with those who say, "should have went"?????

    Gah!

    xo
    -andi

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  11. I often run into the dived vs. dove situation. I will write something that I know is correct English and get that squiggly red line underneath to indicate that I have a spelling or grammar error. It bugs me!

    I listened to some of the trial. I wrote about Trayvon when he got killed, but didn't find the words to write about the verdict. I expected it, but still. It was not persecuted well and there seems to be something in the law that changed the rights of Zimmerman at that last moment, disregarding the fact that if he had not followed Trayvon, nothing would have happened. Because he feared for his life, he had the right to shoot. I don't believe Zimmerman's story of what actually took place in those last minutes, but the jury did, so I guess I am supposed to respect that. But I know for sure that Zimmerman would never have followed Trayvon if he had not had a loaded gun on him.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. What you're talking about is the stand your ground law that we have in Florida. It's designed to protect people like George Zimmerman. We Floridians can claim we fear for our lives and then shoot someone and get away with it.

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    2. It's simple math:

      Would Trayvon have jumped him if he'd KNOWN dah man had a gun?

      Man on bottom is always in the losing position. Without a gun, man on bottom would be 6 feet under.

      The old photo makes everyone think a 12 year old got shot.

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    3. It doesn't have anything to do with math. The Hurricane is a mathematician. She told me so.

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  12. I write how I speak. It's just my way.

    I'm sorry. :)

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    1. Why are you sorry? We love your writing. You're great!

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  13. I LOVE these grammar posts! :)

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  14. I share your love of all things grammar-geeky! It doesn't mean I always follow every rule (some rules are made to be broken, in the interest of readability and conversational style - for example, that rule about not ending sentences with prepositions), but I try to get it right most of the time...

    I also love emoticons even though most grammar geeks despise them. I think they often provide needed clues to tone and intent in emails and text messages and, yes, facebook posts, where tone can otherwise be difficult to discern sometimes. I'd love to hear your thoughts about them. Especially if you hate them. I loves me a good grammar rant once in a while! :)

    I hate auto-correct, though. More often than not, it changes my correctly spelled but not often used and therefore not recognized little gems of the English language to another correctly spelled word that has absolutely nothing to do with what I was trying to say. And then I have to waste time changing it back to what I typed the first time. So annoying!

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    1. I think it's fine to break rules in the interest of creativity. I love emoticons and use them occasionally. I think they're funny. I agree that auto-correct can be annoying.

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  15. I do my best, but me not as smart as you is with grammar--and I am even worse with punctuation!! Luckily, you are kind and read me anyways. ;)
    I cannot believe that he didn't at least get manslaughter! Boggles the mind. What kind of lawyers did that poor dead boy have to speak for him? Makes me sad, too. :(

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    1. Your grammar is fine. You know I love your blog. I imagine a civil suit will take place, and then lawyers will speak for Trayvon Martin.

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  16. Think subjunctive. . . sub + junc + tive

    "I wish I was" the kinda person who could toss around words like that.....

    What kind of junk is in a sub?

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  17. Thank you for your grammar-ly advise, my queen.

    And thanks so much for the (ahem) frequent mention of my book. Much obliged, ma'am.

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    1. I want everyone to share in the joy of Hot Flashes & Cold Lemonade.

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  18. Grammar lessons are always welcomed :) I'm way to lazy to brush up on it on my own!

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