Category: Pronouns

Media Watch

Posted on Monday, November 25, 2013, at 1:36 pm

Several weeks ago, a Vatican-endorsed medal honoring Pope Francis had to be recalled because Jesus was spelled “Lesus.” Just last week, a political placard at a Washington, D.C., press conference spelled filibuster “fillibuster” and against “againts.” In light of these disgraces, it seems the right time to reopen our Media Malfeasance file… • “They have …

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We the People, or…?

Posted on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, at 6:54 pm

For much of the last two months, we have been analyzing why the subject pronouns I, he, she, we, they and the object pronouns me, him, her, us, them are chronically misused and confused. In this final installment, we’ll deal with flawed sentences like Politicians should respect we the people and It’s a happy outcome …

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Two More Reasons Pronouns Plague Us

Posted on Tuesday, November 5, 2013, at 1:48 pm

For several weeks now, we’ve been counting the ways that pronouns give us nightmares. Today we’ll look at two more culprits: infinitives and verbs that end in -ing (known technically as participles and gerunds). To form an infinitive, precede a verb with the word to. The infinitive of look is to look. Constructions like to …

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Yet More Pronoun Pitfalls

Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013, at 1:29 pm

This is part five in a loose series detailing the difficulty of mastering pronouns. Even simple sentences can include snares that distract us from distinguishing between subjects and objects. Two weeks ago, we showed that pronouns linked by any form of the verb to be wrongly become objects in everyday English, which prefers It’s me …

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Shape-shifting Troublemakers

Posted on Monday, October 21, 2013, at 5:25 pm

No nouns in our language behave like pronouns. The most common subject pronouns (I, he, she, we, they, who, whoever) all become different words (me, him, her, us, them, whom, whomever) when they are objects. Colloquial English has always thumbed its nose at proper English. A seemingly innocent everyday sentence like It’s me is Exhibit …

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