Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grammar Lesson

Stop labeling photos "Becky and I" ... it's incorrect! Are you trying to be classy? Do you think using "I" sounds fancy? It doesn't, so stop it! Ugh ...

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system, let's talk about why the rampant use of "I" in Facebook/Twitter [is there MySpace anymore?] photos is incorrect. Let's use Marley ... since I'm pretty sure the people who rape the English language are the same kind of people that would go see that dumb-ass movie. [I actually would have seen it, except I read the book and I know it is sad as hell ... I didn't need that played out for me.]

Look at the DVD cover ... it's Marley & Me ... now apply that to your pictures. If you're showing a picture of yourself, you wouldn't label it "I" would you? No, you would label it "me," so add on your buddy and you've got "Marley and me."

Moving on ... if you were to show a picture of you and your beloved/friend/slam-of-the-month kayaking, you could say "Meranda Raven and I went kayaking this weekend!" but you could not say "Here is a kayaking picture of Meranda Raven and I!"

Now, besides the fact that the latter is incorrect ... IT SOUNDS AWFUL! Do people really not hear how awful that sounds? We all went to elementary school, right? The rule is ... if you take out the other person [Miss Raven], the sentence should stand alone. Por exemple, "I went kayaking this weekend." is a perfectly acceptable sentence. However, "Here is a kayaking picture of I." is wrong.

My blood pressure cannot handle your inability to grasp the concepts we were taught to us at least 15 years ago. Let's try another ... let's say you and and your brother/husband/doctor/local redneck took a picture you'd like to show everyone for some reason. You could label it as such ... "Landon and me." Just like Marley, girl! You may not, however label it "Landon and I" because that doesn't make any damn sense.

Why is this important? I've Googled the shit out of this subject and apparently most people think "well, it's just talking, who cares?" Or, "well, it's Facebook, so you don't have to talk right." To which I say, "WHAT!?!?!?!?" But, while I understand that not everyone cares as much as I do, I still believe that it is imperative to teach young people [and old people who have been taught incorrectly] how to effectively communicate on paper as well as in conversation. I went to McAlister's in Alexandria this weekend and they had a sign on their door that said "Are computers are down, sorry for the inconvenience." My head almost exploded in disbelief and anger. You see, auto spell-check allowed for their correct spelling of inconvenience, but there is no "dumb-ass filter" to help them decide whether to use "our" or "are" ... what is happening!? Sure, "there," "they're" and "their" sound the same, but they're not the same and people should know that! We should not let "ur" be a replacement for "you're" and "your" simply because it is easier to type and sounds the same when spoken. Stop the madness! Educate yourselves!

I honestly think that reading regularly, in any capacity or discipline will help people achieve grammatic enlightenment. I read everything from non-fiction books about religions of the world to ridiculous, Halloween themed cozy mysteries about little "bitties" solving local murders. If you are constantly exposed to correct word usage, it will rub off on you and you'll recognize incorrect speech or writing when you hear it or see it. I promise. Everyone makes mistakes [I constantly put about 15 more commas per paragraph than necessary and often misuse "less" and "fewer"] but lets get the very basic stuff taken care of on a wide scale, then we can start picking at people who don't know whether to use "affect" or "effect."

I've included a PowerPoint presentation to this blog in case you need to make copies and throw it off of rooftops. That is my afternoon plan. Good luck.

[plus 10pts if you get the Meranda Raven reference.]

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