1
   

correct choice of pronoun

 
 
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 07:51 pm
The piece, written by myself, was a fairy play in three acts.

Shouldn't it be 'me'?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 1 • Views: 2,886 • Replies: 26
No top replies

 
Always Eleven to him
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 08:41 pm
@tanguatlay,
Avoid passive voice: The piece that I wrote was a fairy play in three acts.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 11:45 pm
@Always Eleven to him,
Quote:
Avoid passive voice


Sounds strunk and whiteyish, AEth.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 05:01 am
@tanguatlay,
tanguatlay wrote:

The piece, written by myself, was a fairy play in three acts.

Shouldn't it be 'me'?


Yes, it should.
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 05:59 am
Unless you want to emphasize . .

"written all by myself" . . .
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 10:11 am
@sullyfish6,
Precisely, Sullyfish and maybe for some other reasons too.

I would encourage Roberta to offer some reasons for her belief. Simply saying it should doesn't help anyone. Simply saying something should be done is also too strunkian.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 11:24 am
I have to agree with JTT here. Whether it should be 'me' or 'myself' depends on the context and where you wish to place the emphasis. 'Written by me' is a simple statement of fact. 'Written by myself' seems to compare it to those written by others.

[On the other hand, and for the record, I generally have no problem following the good advice of Strunk & White.]
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 01:44 pm
@Always Eleven to him,
I don't think the passive voice must be avoided.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 01:53 pm
@ebrown p,
Well, only if you don't wish to be seen in its company.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 02:17 pm
@Merry Andrew,
It only wants to be loved.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 03:58 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Well, I just agreed with Sullyfish.

Quote:
[On the other hand, and for the record, I generally have no problem following the good advice of Strunk & White.]


A "toxic little compendium", Merry, which is what G Pullum calls it and he is oh so right.

Quote:


50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice

By GEOFFREY K. PULLUM

April 16 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of a little book that is loved and admired throughout American academe. Celebrations, readings, and toasts are being held, and a commemorative edition has been released.

I won't be celebrating.

The Elements of Style does not deserve the enormous esteem in which it is held by American college graduates. Its advice ranges from limp platitudes to inconsistent nonsense. Its enormous influence has not improved American students' grasp of English grammar; it has significantly degraded it.

The authors won't be hurt by these critical remarks. They are long dead. William Strunk was a professor of English at Cornell about a hundred years ago, and E.B. White, later the much-admired author of Charlotte's Web, took English with him in 1919, purchasing as a required text the first edition, which Strunk had published privately. After Strunk's death, White published a New Yorker article reminiscing about him and was asked by Macmillan to revise and expand Elements for commercial publication. It took off like a rocket (in 1959) and has sold millions.

This was most unfortunate for the field of English grammar, because both authors were grammatical incompetents. Strunk had very little analytical understanding of syntax, White even less. Certainly White was a fine writer, but he was not qualified as a grammarian. Despite the post-1957 explosion of theoretical linguistics, Elements settled in as the primary vehicle through which grammar was taught to college students and presented to the general public, and the subject was stuck in the doldrums for the rest of the 20th century.

[read on at]

http://chronicle.com/free/v55/i32/32b01501.htm



[added emphasis is mine]

Read the grammatical idiots' advice on the passive voice.



0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 04:46 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:


I would encourage Roberta to offer some reasons for her belief. Simply saying it should doesn't help anyone. Simply saying something should be done is also too strunkian.



http://able2know.org/topic/8949-1

I now brace myself for the onslaught. Yeah, I'm Strunkian as hell. I'm an editor. I get paid to fix this crap.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 05:26 pm
@Roberta,
Thanx for that link 'Boita. I had forgotten that thread; don't think I participated in it, just browsed. Good stuff.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 09:25 pm
@Roberta,
Quote:
I now brace myself for the onslaught. Yeah, I'm Strunkian as hell. I'm an editor. I get paid to fix this crap.


Editors deal with a different, somewhat artificial part of language,writing, and in this, the rules clearly are not the same as for speech.

But why anyone would want to admit to being a strunkite is beyond me. Those two jokers knew less than nothing about grammar. Have you read the essay by Professor Pullum?

Quote:
What concerns me is that the bias against the passive is being retailed by a pair of authors so grammatically clueless that they don't know what is a passive construction and what isn't. Of the four pairs of examples offered to show readers what to avoid and how to correct it, a staggering three out of the four are mistaken diagnoses. "At dawn the crowing of a rooster could be heard" is correctly identified as a passive clause, but the other three are all errors: ...


Quote:
The treatment of the passive is not an isolated slip. It is typical of Elements. The book's toxic mix of purism, atavism, and personal eccentricity is not underpinned by a proper grounding in English grammar. It is often so misguided that the authors appear not to notice their own egregious flouting of its own rules. They can't help it, because they don't know how to identify what they condemn.


What so astonishes me is that this nonsense has gone on for so long. When I was a young teenager, I knew that these "rules" were pure claptrap. Y'all got severely shortchanged in both your civics classes and your grammar classes.

How does a professor like Strunk, at Cornell yet, get thru an entire career pandering such drivel, year after year after year?
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 11:36 pm
@JTT,
I'm not a Strunkite. I'm Strunkian in the sense that I follow formal rules for grammar, punctuation, and usage. None of the publishers I work for use Strunk and White. They follow the Chicago Manual of Style--and their own style guidelines.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 05:49 am
I'll go along with Raboida because people from the Bronx will never steer you wrong.

Otherwise, i don't associate with reflexive pronouns, myself . . .
0 Replies
 
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 09:14 am
Thanks to all of you, fellow members, for being so helpful.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 09:54 am
@Roberta,
Quote:
I'm Strunkian in the sense that I follow formal rules for grammar, punctuation, and usage. None of the publishers I work for use Strunk and White. They follow the Chicago Manual of Style--and their own style guidelines.


But, Roberta, the simple fact of the matter is you don't, save for your work. The CMoS is no better than S&W for describing the grammar for how our language actually works.

They describe many of the same prescriptions, the same nonsense that is found in S&W.

Quote:


The Chicago Manual of Style --- and grammar

In the 1890s a proofreader working for the University of Chicago Press prepared a single sheet of guidance on typographic fundamentals and house style. It was augmented over time, and grew into a full style manual. The latest version was published in 2003 as the 15th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. From the first sheet with printing on it to the last it has xviii + 958 = 976 pages, an increase in bulk of almost three orders of magnitude from that original information sheet. I finally ordered the 15th edition at the LSA book exhibit in January, when I saw that it included a new 93-page chapter on ‘Grammar and Usage’. My copy just arrived. Unfortunately, I now see, the new chapter does not represent an improvement.

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is an unparalleled resource for those engaged in publishing, particularly of academic material. But the Press decided to farm out the topic of grammar and usage, and the writer they selected was Bryan A. Garner, a former associate editor of the Texas Law Review who now teaches at Southern Methodist University School of Law and has written several popular books on usage and style. His chapter is unfortunately full of repetitions of stupidities of the past tradition in English grammar " more of them than you could shake a stick at.

http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001869.html


Roberta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 03:05 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:


But, Roberta, the simple fact of the matter is you don't, save for your work. The CMoS is no better than S&W for describing the grammar for how our language actually works.



I don't use the CMoS for grammar. I don't know anyone who does. It's helpful for issues of punctuation (does the superscript reference number go inside or outside a colon?), capitalization, and other stylistic matters.

My concern when I write and when I edit is primarily for clarity (and issues the publisher is paying me to be concerned about).

When I tutored ESL students, I found that they were uncomfortable with our loosey-goosey approach to speaking. They wanted specific answers to specific questions. My saying, "It depends," drove them nuts.

When I see questions here from people who are not native English speakers, I assume that they want a specific answer to a specific question. When I choose to respond, that's what I give them.

The question was

The piece, written by myself, was a fairy play in three acts.

Shouldn't it be 'me'?

My answer was, yes, it should be "me." I assumed that the question related to something written. "Me" is the right answer for this particular question. No rewriting. No concern for better wording. Just "me."




JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 03:22 pm
@Roberta,
Quote:
I don't use the CMoS for grammar. I don't know anyone who does. It's helpful for issues of punctuation (does the superscript reference number go inside or outside a colon?), capitalization, and other stylistic matters.


Thank goodness for that. Yet, there are many who still try to pass these "rules" off as, well, rules.

Quote:


My concern when I write and when I edit is primarily for clarity (and issues the publisher is paying me to be concerned about).

When I tutored ESL students, I found that they were uncomfortable with our loosey-goosey approach to speaking. They wanted specific answers to specific questions. My saying, "It depends," drove them nuts.

When I see questions here from people who are not native English speakers, I assume that they want a specific answer to a specific question. When I choose to respond, that's what I give them.


The users of any language do not have a loosey-goosey approach to speaking, Roberta. We all follow the rules of grammar for our respective languages, fastidiously.

If ESLs want specific [misleading] answers, they can go to style manuals like the CMoS or S&W or Garner's book of nonsense. You, as an intelligent native speaker can give them the lowdown on how language really works.

You can let them know that their day to day speech in their own language isn't the same as what they write in their own language, so why should it be any different for English.

You can tell them that many of the "rules" of English that they learned were nonsense, perpetuated by a group of people who knew little about English grammar.

The end result is what is important and giving ESLs a false indication of what actually goes on in everyday speech doesn't help anyone. It's basically all a matter of register.

Newspapers don't sound like academic writing and speech doesn't sound like either. To each its own. The rules are exceedingly complex. We can't change that for ESLs by giving them false assurances.
 

Related Topics

deal - Question by WBYeats
Drs. = female doctor? - Question by oristarA
Let pupils abandon spelling rules, says academic - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Please, I need help. - Question by imsak
Is this sentence grammatically correct? - Question by Sydney-Strock
"come from" - Question by mcook
 
  1. Forums
  2. » correct choice of pronoun
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/21/2021 at 08:55:17