Saturday, December 20, 2008

does a president shape our language?

The other day, President-elect Barack Obama said: "President Bush graciously invited Michelle and I to meet with him and first lady Laura Bush." Not surprisingly, grammar jockeys were quick to seize upon Mr. Obama's wording as yet another example of the degradation of correct English.

I must confess that I, too, cringed at Mr. Obama's grammatical misstep. In my head, booming in surround sound: Invited Michelle and me! But then I bristled again, this time at myself, for what is arguably an unjustified reaction... Read more in the Dallas Morning News


1 comment:

Stowe Boyd said...

In The Stuff Of Thought, Pinker makes the case that these constructions -- 'me and my friends did so and so' versus 'my friends and I did so and so' -- are 'headless' noun phrases, and therefore the choice between the two is arbitrary from a linguistic viewpoint. So this is really a question of style, or the realm of proscriptive grammar, not real linguistics.