Our friend Cathy — who made a midlife career change several years ago and became a middle-school <shudder> teacher — has many admirable qualities, among them an appreciation of the written word and gud speling. Eons ago, when both her daughter and ours were in middle school, we often were aghast at the atrocious grammar in the school’s parent newsletter.
To that point, Cathy once became so frustrated that she circled in red all of the errors and mailed back the newsletter. (We knew then, even before Cathy went back to school for her education credits, that she was a teacher at heart.)
We hereby submit Cathy’s name into nomination as our candidate of choice for National Grammarian, because the nation appears to be adopting some new lazy grammar that cries out for Cathy’s red pen.
We can forgive the misspeech when the speaker is, for example, a reality-show participant or a talk-show guest. “Oh yes, John and I’s wedding was amazing!!!!”
But now this new grammar can be heard creeping into newscasts and can be seen on the pages of our newspapers, which is very disheartening. We expect that newscasters and reporters must have had at least some exposure to style manuals. An example is the frequent misuse of “between” when the correct choice is “among.”
We were prepared to continue overlooking even that most frustrating of our personal grammar bugaboos until a recent airing of Primetime when Cynthia McFadden, one of our favorite commentators, incorrectly used “between” instead of “among” when referring to 10 athletes.
Ok, ok, we will be the first to admit that Cynthia’s misuse did nothing to harm the integrity of her segment and that we probably were the only one nonplussed by it. But please; this is only one example of what we view as creeping grammatical ignorance or, at least, disregard.
Is there a grammatical shift in the works?? Is carefulness in written and spoken English going the way of … the Edsel? What say you all?