Today’s Washington Post contains this comment on the importance of grammar. The strip cited was not one of the best I’ve seen in Pearls Before Swine, and I wish the author would have given writer Stephan Pastis the credit he deserves for putting some really creative puns in the comics.

My wife says it’s too late. The battle is lost. So I had doubts about sending this letter. But the ghost of my sixth-grade teacher stared me down, and now I’ve got to call The Post’s attention to a lapse and ask for more editorial scrutiny.

On Oct. 13, cartoonist Stephan Pastis had one of his penguins in “Pearls Before Swine” say, “It’s me and my wife’s 20th anniversary.”

Listen, kids may be reading this stuff. If it sneaks into The Post, how will they learn what decent grammar reads and sounds like? As things are developing, the younger half of our population seems already to have lost that sense.

“So what?,” many might ask. Well, there’s more to it than arbitrary rules of grammar. The proper use and placement of first-person pronouns are based on ideas of courtesy and respect. These things are worth learning, and every occasion to make them a part of our dialogue with others adds to our civility. (I believe this last paragraph just won a smile from Mrs. Anderson. That’s something for me.) So, let’s tighten up and not give in to lazy grammar’s assault on our language.

Jack Fretwell, Reston


One response to “Me”?

  1. Shortly after reading this, I came across another reference to grammar in George Eliot’s Middlemarch:

    ‘I hate grammar. What’s the use of it?’

    ‘To teach you to speak and write correctly, so that you can be understood,’ said Mrs Garth, with severe precision.

    Eliot, George; Ashton, Rosemary (2003-03-25). Middlemarch (Kindle Locations 4482-4484). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s