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Grammatical peeves


I'm sitting in one of the last panels of the day, and I have to say my hunger is contributing to my annoyances with the speakers' grammatical errors. I know that English (and all languages) are ever-changing, and when I was kid, you didn't say bad when you meant good or have run on sentences or non-parallel sentences. No really.

But these two peeves have reared their ugly heads, and they're annoying me.

One panelist said something like,

"it's not about me abandoning one service for another..."

The correct use of the personal pronoun is not the objective case, but actually the possessive case when referring to a gerund. Specifically, in this case, the speaker should have said, "MY abandoning," not "me abandoning". The "me" refers to the "abandon."

Not 10 seconds before that statement, a different speaker made the comment

"It's about sharing data between different networks..."

when referring to a group of six or seven networks. "Between" is referring to a connection of two objects. "Among" refers to a connection of more than two objects. The speaker should have commented about sharing data AMONG different networks.

I'm pretty sure that very, very few people noticed these, or that anyone notices them much any more. As the language evolves, grammar will also evolve, specifically when the common usage because the rule. We don't use thee or thou or, sadly, the subjunctive case in common speak anymore. It happens, the language changes.

Doesn't mean I'm going to stop complaining about it.


I am the same way, Kitt, in regards to poor English grammar. It's not to say that I'm perfect. I probably would not have caught those mistakes about which you wrote, though I agree with them.

These are my top three grammatical pet peeves:

1. American's failure to use adverbs ('It went REAL well' - instead of REALLY!)
2. People saying they feel 'good' instead of 'well' OR it went 'good' instead of 'well'
3. People asking each other where they're AT. That one REALLY irks me! Prepositions don't belong at the end of a sentences!

Learning a second language really taught me a lot about English! But now I find myself proofreading and correcting random things that I read in public (menus, subway signs, etc.). It never ends!

""Between" is referring to a connection of two objects. "Among" refers to a connection of more than two objects. The speaker should have commented about sharing data AMONG different networks."

I ask, in an attempted non-judgmental manner:
Can you provide a reference for your Between/Among rule?
How close were the speaker's birthdate and childhood location to yours?
How do you know that the speaker's grammar is an example of language changing?
Have you ever been peeved by a person's accent?
What was the title of said speaker's presentation?
Are you proficient in a language other than English?

And this question deals with another beast entirely, but I'm curious:
Why complain about it?

Other not so interesting comments:
The AHD, which might be a reputable reference, mentions that "Between is for 2, Among is for more" is a "widely repeated but unjustified tradition". This statement is ultimately too vague for me to knock your grammatical views, but it invites more questions. When did this tradition get started? Is it documented? How is it that your presumably well-educated speaker wasn't clued in on the tradition (or alternatively, how did he come to break tradition)?

It's maybe interesting to note that 'between' etymologically refers to 2. It's also maybe interesting to note that 'between' always is "correct" when dealing with just two entities. Perhaps this calls for some neologisms: bethreen, befeen, bequeen...