Friday, January 10, 2014
"Me and You and a Dog Named Boo..."
The opening lyrics to the famous song by Lobo begin, “Me and you and a dog named Boo, Travellin’ and livin’ off the land,” but they are incorrect. The song ends, however, with apt advice -- “We’ve gotta get away and get back on the road again.” Yes, we all need to get back on the road again and correct a glaring error in our speech and writing. It's not so much a grammar rule as a rule of etiquette, along with an accepted convention of grammar. It's considered polite to put the other person first. (However, grammar does come into play when choosing between "me" and "I" for the subject or objective case in a sentence.) It's not "Me and Joe are late for the meeting." It's "Joe and I are late for the meeting."
As in the lyrics Lobo sang, “Will power made that old car go,” we, too, need to use some will power and correct our flagrant mistake. Ignorance is not an excuse. Elementary children everywhere are taught this basic rule in schoolrooms across the country. It is not a difficult concept to learn to always put the other person first. ("He gave the candy to Randy and me," not "He gave the candy to me and Randy.)
Too many parents seemingly do not encourage children in this day and age to be polite or to use proper language, and society perpetuates the uneducated, convoluted vernacular as witnessed by numerous television announcers, congressmen, and movie stars all caught on air saying, “Me and my friend…." In addition, the lyrics to many popular songs contain the same phrase.
Maybe some of you don’t care how you come across to others in job interviews or in conversations. I, however, can’t sit back and take it anymore. When one of the meteorologists in Columbus said, “Me and my family…” twice in a single broadcast several months ago, I felt it not only my civic duty to send an e-mail asking the broadcaster to correct his mistake, but I also felt compelled to continue helping other nincompoops in our country, one nincompoop at a time.
It’s embarrassing when foreign exchange students arrive in America to study, and their English language skills are far better than that of most Americans. We look like uneducated dummkopfs with the brains of potatoes.
Please, if you’re guilty of saying, “Me and X… “ on an everyday basis, I’m begging you to correct this fault in your writing. Otherwise, I may have to unleash the Special Grammar Forces with their dogs named Boo, and their tasers, to end this repugnant abuse of language.
Kenny Chesney – you’re up next for tasering with your song, “Me and You.”