Tag Archives: non-standard English

Tearing My Hair Out

I’ve got a lot of hair, but at the rate I keep hearing a particular verbal atrocity, I may be bald by the weekend. My friend Cami in Miami heard this from the mouth of a supposedly literate and sophisticated lecturer and reacted as badly as I do when I hear it. I’m just surprised I haven’t written about this before.

Here goes: DO NOT SAY, “My wife (or anyone else) and I’s (fill in noun).”  “My friend and I’s lunch date had to be canceled.” 

No such possessive “word” as “I’s” exists. I think this problem arises because so many people think I is a classier pronoun than me or my. It’s not. If you need a subject pronoun, use I.  For an object pronoun, it’s going to be me or my. My wife’s and my apartment was painted last week. My friend’s and my lunch date had to be canceled.

The good news is that I have never seen anyone write this horror. You can use the search box on my blog to get more info about “I vs. me.”

 

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Words or Not Words?

Here’s a short list of commonly used words that aren’t standard—yet.  Obviously, all words are invented by people, so it may be just a matter of time until these are recognized as standard English.

1. Irregardless.  It’s “regardless,” but if enough people keep using the “ir” form, it just might stick.  Ick.

2. Orientate.  It’s “orient.”  Less is more.

3. Administrate.  “Administer” suffices.

4. More importantly.  Drop that “ly.”  What you’re really saying is, “It is more important….”

5.  Heighth.  It’s “height.”  Thop lithping.

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