Where Are the Editors?

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This morning I read an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by a man extolling the advantages of couples sleeping in separate bedrooms. Given the situation in his household, he made a convincing personal argument. He ends the essay by writing that the two-bedroom solution might not work for everyone, “but for my wife and I,” it is working well.

OK, so he didn’t know that when deciding between I and me, if you temporarily remove the other person, you’ll immediately know which pronoun to use. He never would have written, “for I, it’s a good solution.” Adding his wife back in changes nothing. It still should be “for my wife and me.”

The author made the error—but where was the editor of the op-ed page of the LA Times? I can come to only two conclusions: either no editor exists for op-ed pieces, or there is an editor but that person also is ignorant about which pronoun to use. Either situation saddens me. You, too?

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6 Comments

Filed under All things having to do with the English language

6 responses to “Where Are the Editors?

  1. KATHY SANDEL

    Well, FINALLY a rule to follow! I always puzzled with this particular problem, and many other choices of I versus me. I am passing this on to my children (grown) and my sister…. >

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  2. Rich

    Yes, yes me am.

    Rich

    >

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  3. For me, this is no minor thing as it fits in that category that only history writes about, the unnoticed early signs of major decline in a civilization.

    As people laugh at this comment now, I suspect we don’t realize that standards today fall well below those of the 1800s when we were a more literate general society in the US. No virtue there: We HAD to be. We had just started popular reading as it came down from the elites. But Abraham Lincoln’s regular discourse, for example, is now rendered the stuff of high university learning, even though he wrote for the general population. Today, in our major outlets, we see many more plain errors in usage and grammar than typos.

    Ask what happened to the subjunctive mood in writing. What happened to the adverb? What happened to the time sense in verbs… “has done” meaning something more recent than “did”? Why do MOST people say, “Just give Jim or myself a call if you have any questions?” They even pause with emphasis on “myself” to subtly emphasize that they are focused on proper grammar and diction.

    I’m not a stickler for internet writing or other casual speech, but newspapers used to be the standard-bearers, and we have lost that.

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    • Eric, I could not agree more. It’s a sad commentary on our society. As for the dreaded “myself,” I’ve written about that on this blog. I’m convinced it is so common because people don’t know whether to use “I” or “me,” so they use the reflexive pronoun as their default. If I start pulling my hair out, I’ll be bald in a week.

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