Grammar is a great analogue for life


An exchange I had with Quill about a line from a job application I am perusing and attempting to complete:

Me: Oh boy, here’s an example of pretentious grammar. ‘Below, give the names of three persons you are not related to, whom you have known at least one year.’

Him: That’s pretentious grammar?

Me: Because it’s used wrong.

Him: Well, people often overcompensate for commonly made errors.  For instance, the common error is something like “So-and-so and me are going to the store,” when it should be “so-and-so and I.”  So when you really are the direct object, like “They gave the ball to Mark and me,” people frequently just assume it’s an error and say “Mark and I,” even though it’s wrong.

Me: And that still annoys me.

Him: It’s just a tendency–in order to correct one error, people overcorrect and wind up making an equal and opposite error.  Just like heresy.


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