Listen to me on KTRS/St. Louis every Friday, 3-6pm CT

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Not So Much With The Words

One of my pet peeves is bad grammar. As a person who speaks for a living, the hair on the back of my neck stands up when I overhear mangled usage such as these examples...

  • A waiter asked us: "How's your guys food tasting?" Your guys? Stop adding modifiers to "your," which can be either singular or plural. And you're using the wrong form of the verb when you use the -ing suffix. What you meant to say was "How is your food?"
  • A person in a parking lot: "I forgot where I left my keys at." There's no need to add "at" to the end of that sentence -- or any other, for that matter.
  • In a similar vein, heard in an office: "Did you get that report ran?" Well, I completed the report and emailed it to you and printed a copy, but I didn't get it ran.
  • In an elevator: "Roger told her and I that he's going to be a few minutes late." There's a simple rule for when to use "I" and when to use "me" -- if you take the other person out of the sentence ("her and..."), you would never say "Roger told I that..." And stop substituting "myself" for "I," because it doesn't work, either.
I have a feeling this will turn into a series of posts on this topic. If you have a favorite, share it with me via the e-mail address on the right side of this page.