It’s “me” not “I,” “saw” not “seen,” “badly,” not “bad,” and drop the “at”

Working from various laptops and my smart phone, typos are an unfortunate way of life for me. I cringe when I see I have made a post with an error, or my dear hubby points it out to me.  Typos are one thing, but ignorance is another.  While I may make an error, I do recognize that I have made a mistake.  Many other people speak and write incorrectly and do not even know they are incorrect.

What inspired this rant?  I signed into Word Press today, and I began reading an article that was front and center once I was signed into the site.  When I read the first part of the first sentence in the article, I was done reading immediately because I am so tired of the grammar mistakes people make thinking they are writing (or speaking) correctly.

Here is what set me off: ” Between Athena and I, I don’t know . . ..”  You see, this is grammatically incorrect in standard English.  The word between is a preposition, and a preposition requires an object (or objects) of the preposition.  If a pronoun is used as the object of the preposition, it must be objective case, not subjective case.  I is subjective case.  What would be correct here is me, which is objective case.  If you don’t believe me, check out the Purdue Owl Writing Lab here.  People have become so overly concerned with failing to use I correctly that many people have gone to over using it and are now misusing the pronoun.

Fun fact: You can check your use by simply removing any other nouns or pronouns used with I or me. If it sounds wrong, it probably is.  Let’s take this sentence: Tommy went with Jim and I to the play.  Remove “Jim and,” and this is what you get: Tommy went with I to the play.  Really?  That does not sound correct.  How about this? Tommy went with me to the play.  Yep, that works.

Since I am on a grammar rant, let’s address a couple of my other grammar misuse pet peeves.  For example, I am appalled at the incorrect us of the verb “seen.” The conjugation of the verb “see” is as follows:

Present: see                 Past: saw              Past Participle: have seen or has seen (it requires a helping verb)

As a result, when people say or write something like: “I seen him walking down the street.”  This is categorically incorrect.  It must be either “I saw him . . .” or ” I have seen him . . .” to be grammatically correct.

It troubles me greatly to hear the misuse of adjectives as adverbs.  This is one area in which our students make the most mistakes on the ACT. This may in part be true because on TV, in movies, on the radio, and in ordinary speech people make these mistakes frequently in our society.  For example, it should be “The team did badly in implementing the new plays” rather than “The team did bad in implementing the new plays.”

Finally, just lose the “at!” At is also a preposition, so it too requires an object of the preposition to be used correctly; thus, it is incorrect to say or write” Where are you at?” The word at is not needed, and it is grammatically incorrect to use it at the end of a sentence.  “Where are you?” is what is grammatically correct; it is all that is needed.

Thanks for listening to my rant, and if you make any of these mistakes in your speech or writing, please do me a favor and consider making changes.

Angela

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