Saturday, 3 September 2016

Please leave my grammar alone!

For many years I wrote magazine short stories, and I still write the odd one. I'm used to names, punctuation and other things being changed on publication, and I don't mind too much, but in a recent story "I" is printed instead of the accusative "me" ("she hated letting my brother and I...." was in the published version. Horrors!). This is an abuse I really hate. Okay, I'm a pedant. But even pedants must have some rights....haven't we?

19 comments:

  1. Absolutely! Changing a text from correct grammar to incorrect must be considered a serious offense. (They should at least have to pay you double as compensation...)

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    1. Thank you for your support, DT! Double pay - now there's a thought...

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  2. I was taught many years ago ( school presumably) that you should remove the other person from the sentence and see if " I "or" me" works. ie. She hated letting I….doesn't work at all. I corrected someone a while ago and got shot down and told that wasn't how it works . I guess there are exceptions to every rule.

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    1. I hope you stood your ground after being shot down, Frances?

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    2. It was a comment I made on a blog, and no I didn't. I thought that perhaps I was wrong….the writer could sometimes be quite " stroppy" and I didn't want to invite his wrath!

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  3. I, too, was taught to remove the other person, and to this day using "I" instead of "me" makes me cringe.

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  4. Oh, that's one of my pet hates - I remember drilling it into me and I did the same with the children I taught using the method Frances mentions in her comment above. How annoying for you as it makes it look as though it's you who has made the mistake.

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    1. That's what rankles, Wendy. That readers shoud think I wrote it that way. But maybe no-one will notice...

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  5. When I write for a customer (usually a directive or guideline on data protection or IT security; sometimes course material on the same topic), I don't want them to change anything at all, because everything I wrote is there for a reason. I know I am not perfect in either German or English, but I like to think that my spelling and grammar are good enough and does not really need much correcting.

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    1. You've always struck me as a perfectionist, Meike?

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  6. The I, me thing irritates the life out of me. If its not broke why fix it?

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    1. May I suggest "If it's not broken why fix it?"?

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  7. It boils down to knowing when to use nominative case and when to use objective case. Your editor obviously doesn't know. It's a sad day when so-called professionals don't know their own language. Things are much, much worse over here across the pond; people practically revel in their ignorance.

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  8. I totally agree with you. I'd be seething, especially as it looks as if you are the culprit. Have you written your angry letter reply?

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  9. No, Maggie. I don't bite the hand that feeds me, although I'm tempted. They also remove all semi-colons, and I love semi-colons. Sigh...

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  10. Like Meike, when I wrote professionally every word was meant to be there and convey a meaning in context whether it was meant to be interpreted one way or, possibly, interpreted in more than one way (writing in a political context can be 'interesting' that way). I, too, love colons and semi-colons. We live in the great age of dumbing down. Unfortunately we, as a nation, excel at it.

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