21 Comments

  1. Ah. I knew I’d seen the “clog” one recently. In the second strip, that fifth “correction” was silly. There’s never been any prohibition against ending a sentence with a preposition. A self-appointed expert in the 18th Century advised against it, although not absolutely. Since then, others have taken this up as a hard rule This leads to convoluted nonsense like the example above.

  2. “Who” is correct when it’s the subject of a sentence.

    “Don’t end a sentence with a preposition” – total legend. There’s nothing wrong with it.

    “I feel good” – perfectly good grammar. Feeling good and feeling well are two different things.

  3. I’ve got to hand it to Whamond for drawing a fairly decent Dylan and Bono. The rest of them aren’t so great. His Ray Parker looks more like Billy Dee Williams.

  4. Pete: “‘Who’ is correct when it’s the subject of a sentence.”

    Well, sure, but here it’s an object.

  5. Apparently I was the one who posted the “clog” in an earlier comment. No wonder I thought it looked familiar!

    The grammar one is more than a little off. Even among smug “sticklers” there are very few who go by some of those supposed “rules”.

    I do like to use “whom” now and then. As WW correctly points out, it is structurally / functionally an object here, not a subject — so “whom” would be okay, for someone who does use “whom”. But it still isn’t obligatory, as the scolder within the cartoon would have it. (Though Pete is correct that surface-linearly it looks like a subject, so there is even less reason to demand a “whom”.)

  6. “In this crazy mixed-up world in which we live in.”

    The Andertoons is peculiar but haunting. I think I saw advice recently about drawing lines on the ground to keep your dog from wandering off when unleashed. But these barrier ribbons are more substantial. Yet not literally an unpassable barrier.

  7. Mitch4, I’ve long wondered whether that was “in which we live in” or “in which we’re livin'”.

    I’m surprised no one’s yet complained about the Dylan correction. Depending on the sense he meant, “lay” could be correct.

    I’m confused by a claim that “Who” is grammatically okay in “Who are you going to call?” It’s clearly an object. You wouldn’t say “You are going to call they.”

  8. Time again to recall the story of the boy whose mother walked up to his second-floor bedroom to read him a bedtime story, but absent-mindedly brought a book on Australia that the kid was known to dislike. So he complained “Aw Mom, why did you bring that book I didn’t want to be read to out of about Down Under up for?”

  9. So having grown up with a tendency toward prescriptivism (is it genetic?), I have, through education and effort, been able to mostly rid myself of the horror I feel upon hearing some constructions (“between you and I”, “this was given to my husband and I”); I can shame myself confronting the automatic horror I feel at what are actually prescriptively correct constructions (“who did you say I was going to be?”). And I understand that language evolves, changing, and it is consensus among speakers that determines “correctness”.

    That said, I am one of those speakers, and whenever someone insists on using “whom”, and then misuses it (“whomever it was that invented the lightbulb”), I feel that they deserve to be called out on it, ridiculed, and subject to all available humiliation.

    Is that wrong?

  10. For decades, I had trouble with that Live and Let Die lyric. It’s actually “But if this ever changing world in which we’re living makes you give in and cry (… say ‘live and let die’). It was the dropped ‘r’ (or relaxed ‘r’) on “we’re”, that confused me into thinking it was “world in which we live in”. There are several Beatles songs where Paul does this, including “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” where both John and Paul do it.

    By the way, there’s a Beatles lyrics page, https://www.beatlesagain.com/btlyrics.html , which doesn’t show lyrics but will search for the word bits you give it. I gave it just “we’re” and it returned a dozen songs. I listened to the the ones where I knew Paul was singing. (He occasionally hits the ‘r’, in one of the 5 or 6 voices Paul uses) It’s called “The Beatles Lyrics Machine”

  11. “So the Grammar Lady says “I got nuthin’” in the last panel. A bit of a hypocrite?”

    That’s the joke, innit?

  12. “I can’t get no satisfaction”. So then, Mick, you can get satisfaction.

  13. This is one of those times when Bizarro’s eyeball, dynamite, and pie sort of interfere with the gag. For anyone unfamiliar with the strip, it looks like those are other objects he pulled out of the toilet, which confuses the punchline.

  14. Peter Schickele reports that he and his brother would take common expressions and make them as grammatically correct as they could. For example, there’s a knock at the door and you peek out and it’s that couple you can’t stand from down the street. “Oh no!” you say, “It’s THEY!”

  15. There’s one usage maven I generally agree with (and am always entertained by). Paraphrasing him (because I can’t find his books at the moment), there is more than one English language. There are different grammar rules for spoken, formally-written, and informally-written English. His dicta are specifically for newspapers and other formal writing.

    And since someone’s bound to ask: Theodore M. Bernstein. I suspect he’s long dead.

  16. I need to show the grammar examples to my kids. Both of them have occasionally used the “correct” (nominative) case when expressing something in English, as a direct result of literally translating the normal German phrase. The simplest example is using “I too!” (instead of “Me too!”) to respond when asked “Who wants ice cream?” (or whatever). In German, “Ich auch!” is perfectly normal.

  17. larK-

    I know that my grammar is not the best. I write the newsletter for my embroidery guild chapter. The previous chapter president would send me the “President’s Column” to include. She would often say things such as “I and the Board” and I would cringe at running it without correcting it – but if I changed a comma she would be upset. (Current chapter president does not send a column and I use that space for notices as it is on the front page.)

    I figure that grammar, along with many of the spelling rules, was taught when I was in third grade as I missed much of that year with measles, mumps, chicken pox, and a virus in my left leg so I missed learning grammar.

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