I sifted through tons of email recently, and I realize a lot of the questions recur. Therefore, I’ll share my answers here should these same questions be causing you sleepless nights.
My teenage daughter drives me bonkers. She keeps using “Me” rather than “I” to start sentences. Just today, she said, “Me and Jill are going to Forever 21.” Arrgh! No matter how often I correct her, she still uses “Me.” I don’t know what to do.
You’re worried about grammar when your daughter shops at Forever 21? A part of her soul dies – plus a Bangladeshi textile worker or two – every time she transacts business at that store. (See also Abercrombie & Fitch.) Still, you asked a straightforward question, which deserves a feeble answer.
Your daughter is a pirate. This is the only way to explain such a sentence structure. The Pirate Speech Code of 1793, still in force today, requires its members to use “Me” at the front of at least half of all sentences. “Me” should be used liberally elsewhere in the sentence as well. Here’s a typical pirate statement: “Me britches is a bit tight today, Matey. Methinks me should switch to Cobb salads before me thighs begin to look like tree trunks.”
If you’re still in doubt, it’s also well-known that pirates supplement their wardrobes at stores where the average customer age is thirteen and the employee age is sixteen.
To maintain your sanity, as well as your relationship with your daughter, try to show some solidarity. When the next Talk like a Pirate Day comes along, start a few sentences with “Me.” Better yet, do so while browsing the clearance table at Forever 21. It will bring the two of you closer together.
I gather from that last letter you do not take grammar seriously. I suppose you also have no qualms about ending a sentence in a preposition.
I am so happy about that up which you have brought. Strict grammar is not something of which I would ever take lightly. There are no sentences of which I can think that would sound better if the preposition were at the end. I would agree that high standards of grammar can be hard up with which to live. However, I am committed to meeting those standards upon which others have devoted their lives.
Dear Mr. Smith
As a Neo-Keynesian, I have a real issue with Post-Keynesian economics vis-à-vis the concept of a full employment rate. I posit that if we adjust wages and enact more rigid price controls, full employment is possible. What do you think?
Not my real name
Why yes, I would be happy to show you a picture of my lunch.
That’s not what I asked about.
Look! A kitty!
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Human Resources Manager
The same place I see myself now, in the bathroom, where the mirror is. I don’t want to put a mirror anyplace else. That would be more than I could take. I caught a glimpse of myself in a full-length mirror at a clothing store recently. I was on my way to find the store manager to alert her to the disheveled old fart who looked a little suspicious, if not completely creepy. Then I realized it was me. It frightened me to think that’s what others around me see every day. (I am sorry to all of you.) I don’t mind the mirror in the bathroom because it takes my eyes a little while to focus in the morning, and I can’t see myself clearly. I occasionally miss a spot or two when I shave, but I just tell my wife it’s a new look I’m trying.
Dear Bad Person,
I am outraged by your earlier reference to Forever 21. I buy all my tanks and bustiers there. When they disintegrate a week later, I go back to get more. I would be lost without my favorite place to shop, plus I keep countless textile workers in Asia employed at five rupees a day. I demand an immediate apology. If not, I will see to your immediate firing from whatever job you hold, if it is even possible for the likes of you to be employed.
Outraged Forever 21 Fan
I am truly sorry that you’re outraged.
That’s not a real apology. I’m still outraged.
If you or anyone like you was in any way offended by my earlier comments, it was not my intention to offend. If my comments were misconstrued to be offensive, I apologize for that occurrence of misconstruing. I hope my future comments will be judged on their own merit, on face value, and will not cause needless offense to certain individuals or groups who may be sensitive to such things.
P.S. …. I just had a thought on which both post- and neo-Keynesians might agree: If we didn’t demand someone get fired every time we’re outraged/offended, perhaps that would solve the unemployment issue.