Friday, June 6, 2008

Eric's Grammarian Peeves

There is a boy named Eric. He enjoys speaking the so-called "proper" English, especially in third person as he is now. There are several common mistakes that Americans make while speaking English. He will name a few in this post. If you find that these mistakes are made in your conversations, please rectify them. First off, a preposition is something you should never end a sentence with. With is a preposition, in case some swine doesn't know. "Where are you from?" is another sentence that ends in a preposition. The proper sentence is not "Where are you from?", but would be a sentence similar to "Where do you live?" or "Where were you born?" Also, on the end of a sentence, you should never leave participles dangling. I will not count so harshly on those who do not know that dangling is a present participle as the swine that does not know what a participle is, except for those who could be nothing but ignorant, such as small children not yet introduced to the more complex facet of English that is conjugating. Furthermore, another common catachresis includes confusing the pronouns "I", "me" and "myself", such as in the sentence "Albert and myself will be going to the ball and he will dance with I". Notice in the first object of the sentence, if Albert and and are detached, it sounds completely ridiculous, which should not be the case. The proper pronoun to replace myself is I. Also, the pronoun at the caboose of the train should not be the overworked I, but the seldom used me. Do NOT be afraid to use me, and do NOT use myself to make yourself sound more sophisticated, because to those of us who really ARE, like myself, (myself was just used properly if you wanted to use that to make me "eat crow" as they say) it makes you sound just plain doltish. Another word tangle is that of the the conjugations of the infinitive to be, "is" and "are." For locus classicus, in the syntactic construction "Where's my pants", where's is a contraction of the two words where and is, but according to MY grammarian expertise the correct conjugation of the infinitive to be in the present plural tense is ARE, and it just so happens that pants is a plural noun coming from the fact that pant legs used to be put on separately. Pant legs was later condensed to pants like with mathematics was abridged to maths and the eventually reduced to the now common math. Eric hopes that you enjoyed his lecture on mistakes of the grammatical sort and he bids you farewell. Farewell.

Eric "The Professor" Vance

P.S. There are many sentences in this beautiful paragraph that seem like and by some slim chance might be run-on sentences because even Eric makes grammatical mistakes, but very rarely.
P.P.S. Eric likes pi(e)
P.P.P.S. ~3.141592654
P.P.P.P.S. And thusly the reciprocal of the hypotenuse must equal the square root of the sin (pronounced as is sign) of pi times the opposite of b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus 4ac divided by 2a plus pi over pi radians.
P.P.P.P.P.S. In about the middle of Eric's leviathanesque paragraph, there are the word Albert and and. To clear up confusion, this, if read out loud, would be pronounced Albert 'n' and. Thank you. That is all.


  1. Professor Eric,
    Wow. As a person who appreciates the logic of grammar, I have to say that this "lecture" was a bit too much for me. I hope you get a perfect score on the SAT, but please don't become a teacher. Your students will never reach your level.
    Brandy (I used to understand grammar) Romer

  2. Eric, I too believe that correct grammar is important. I also believe that it is important to have an interesting message. I will be more careful with the grammar of my writing.

  3. Ha! Ha! I love you Eric. :)

  4. Wow. I'm glad you got that out of your system, and I hope you feel better now.

  5. I have a strong disdain for writing that does not properly break thoughts into smaller coherent sentences and use paragraphs instead of long convoluted run-on sentences that are strung together without any logical breaks between the separate ideas or thoughts.

  6. Eric, we recently had a conversation about the use of "I've got". I found an interesting lesson (actually several of them) about the use of "have" and "have got". You might take a look at

    Of course there are many sites too that support your position.

  7. In the reference in your comment there are several people that strongly object to using "have got" because the meanings of the words are in opposition to each other. Get and have are different.


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