Monday, February 9, 2009

Yeah, Grammar Maven AGAIN

Today's lesson:  noun-pronoun agreement. 
 
ARGH!  I am editing a document as we speak (well, not really...right now I'm bitching) and the author cannot grasp the concept of noun-pronoun agreement.  If the noun is singular (child, customer, asshole) then the pronoun should be him or her, not them or their.  A singular noun should have a singular pronoun.  An example of incorrect-itude:
 
If parents help the child with their homework...
 
What?  Is your child Sybil or something?  Does each personality have a different homework assignment?  No, I didn't think so.  So let us try this:
 
If parents help the child with his homework...
 
If you don't know the subject' s sex, then the masculine pronoun is considered generic, so use him, his or he.  (Insert joke here about men being generic and interchangeable.)  If you want to be all PC and not offend you could say "him or her, " "his or hers," or "he or she."  But then you have to be sensitive to transgender issues by adding "him or her or those who are transitioning to their more authentic selves." 
 
Grammar:  it's not for wimps.

10 comments:

Marinka said...

You're so right in including our transitioning friends. And I am the only one who reads The Grammar Maven's posts really carefully in the hopes of finding a grammatical mistake?

Maureen said...

I read The Grammar Maven's posts and worry that I'm the one being bitched about...

Was that grammatically correct?
Did I spell that right?
Did I spell that correctly?
No, I should have asked if that is the correct spelling of the word "grammatically."
Damn - why isn't there a spell check for comments?
Why didn't I pay more attention in English class?

I need a support group now - where are the yellow pages?

Anonymous said...

NO, I have not and will not criticize any post here at SSW. Complaints are often the passionate draining of an oozing blister on the writer's ass. Therefore all rules are tossed out the window in an effort to facilitate this cathartic process.

No red Bic pen with the clear plastic barrel (the best!) whipped out here. I love this place with all of my black, bitchy heart.

~The Grammar Maven~

WackyGrandma said...

I love corporate emails and documents that are circulated to a hundred people within the company that sound like they were composed after one of the head honchos has had a five martini lunch.

dizzblnd said...

Maven.. I love your whines. I think I just found your blog page. I am stalking you. ;)

jennygirltherat said...

Maven, you scare me and make me doubt myself --but I like you. As for me, I like to take photos of mistakes on things like highway signs. My current favorite (right here in the town where I live) is this gem: "Historical Downtown Lancaster."

Anonymous said...

I am a huge grammar geek. When people right sentences and use the wrong homophone, I want to wrip my hare out.
Another thing I hate: When people caption pictures they're in and say "This is Tim and I". ME people, ME! UGH.
I could go on and on.

I was supposed to be an elementary school teacher...then I realized I'd never have kids of my own if I did something like that.

Issas Crazy World said...

Some days, my kid does have multiple personalities. On those days, I might just say their for no reason. ;)

Maura said...

"Grammar: it's not for wimps." I think I may love you, Grammar Maven.

Anonymous said...

Technically you were editing a document as we read vs as we speak ... just saying