Common Stupid Mistakes. Custom Essay Writing


Some Common Stupid Mistakes

Prepositions always take the objective form of the pronoun. The objective form is the form when the pronoun is an object; the subjective is the way you would use it as a subject. Think of a simple sentence: "She shot him." "She" is the subject, the actor; "him" is the object, that to which the action was done. All prepositions take the objective form. For, with, between, to, by, into, out of, and so on, and so on, all take an objective pronoun. This is true even when there are two pronouns connected by a conjunction. Hence, Marcus's girlfriend should have said, "There is so much love between you and me," not "you and I." You wouldn't say "He shot I" would you? Of course not. The objective form is "me." There are still English teachers in fourth grades across the country who think it is always better to use "I" than to use "me." They are responsible for ruining that poor girl's life. Don't let them ruin yours.

Knowing whether a pronoun is the object or subject helps even in sentences without prepositions. Whether you should write "It is I" or "It is me" depends on who is kicking and whom is getting kicked. When the judge asks, "Who was smoking the joint?" you should answer, "It was I." When the judge asks, "Who got taken to jail after the cops broke down the door?" your girlfriend should respond, "It was me." Why? Because in the first example, "I" is the subject, the one doing the act. In the second example, the girlfriend was the object of police brutality, hence "me." This can be important. "My husband likes football better than me" suggests a divorce is imminent. "My husband likes football better than I" is merely a statement of preference for another sport.

An old, snob rule forbids the appearance of prepositions at the ends of sentences, and a few old profs may still abide by this antiquity. But decades ago, no less a master of the English language than Winston Churchill skewered this rule. A secretary going over the manuscript of his history of World War II changed a sentence that ended "put up with." In the margin, to emphasize the contortions that avoiding the construction would entail, Churchill wrote, "This is the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put!"

Fewer and Less

It may surprise you to learn that "fewer" and "less" aren't interchangeable, although they're so often used incorrectly that it seems as though they might be. If you become confused about which word to use, follow this simple rule: "Fewer" is for things you can count, and "less" is for things you can't, such as abstract ideas. Therefore, it would be "fewer elephants" but "less noise," "fewer dollars" but "less money," "fewer bigots" but "less hatred." All those illiterate signs in the supermarket should read, "Express lane, ten items or fewer." Once you master the difference, the ability to make the correct distinction between "less" and "fewer" will immediately set you apart from the pack and help elevate you to the status of grammar guru.

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