|Management of Measurement Constructs
Notebook, May 30, 2005Show Your Grammar Grade
Listen to anyone in the English language speak three sentences, and ask yourself what you know about them! So telling is the word choice, the diction, and above all –please know this—the grammar.
Our schools are dreadfully remiss in not teaching proper sentence structure and composition. The reason is that the teachers today were taught by members of the revolutionary generation when THEY weren’t taught properly, when education was basically discarded.
The mistakes we hear in the public media, read in the public media, are awesome … and they are embarrassing. The mistakes we hear all around us speak for a cultural sadness.
You might ask: “Who knows the difference, then?” --Well, uncannily, even if one can not articulate the mistakes, one does react instinctively to correct forms and usage of the English language.. Somehow proper speech “sings,” and it is in our ears. –What is that feeling we have about the language spoken in an American movie by a British actor?
What happens is this: someone speaks correctly, and your ear picks it up –so ubiquitous are slovenly speech and ridiculous grammar mistakes—your ear knows that you are hearing things that are different, and the context of the hearing experience tells you the speaker is correct. It tells you their respect for intelligence and communication accuracy.
Our work with astrology is predominantly communicational. There’s no doubt about it. How you speak with your client on the phone making the appointment and in the first three minutes or less of the consultation is going to determine the Level of your communication relationship. –Even if your client is slipping and sliding around the inexcusable vicissitude of poor grammar, YOU THE ASTROLOGER CAN’T.
So take this test. Which of these statements are wrong? --Keep score.
1.Just between you and I...
2.In this situation, you seem stronger than her…
3.Him and his wife went to the doctor’s together …
4.You told me that you were quicker on the uptake than her…
5.You are reacting to this just like her …
6.If I lay down there … or The bankbook was laying there, so I …
7.Yesterday, I just stayed at home and laid around all day…
8.Neither the counselors nor the minister are telling me anything…
9.Who do you trust in this matter: him or I?
10. I could have cared less…
11. Like I was saying.
12. If I was the only person who felt this way…
13.None of the reasons you give are practical…
14.Between you, Jack, and me …
Did you think these through, or just listen to your mind’s voice? The latter shows you are working on instinct and reflection of what you hear around you. Grammar is learned.
ALL of the examples are decidedly incorrect. Here they are correctly phrased, with succinct explanation:
1. Just between you and me …him … her. –“Between” is a preposition requiring the accusative case, i.e., me, her, him, us, them.
2. In this situation, you seem stronger than she is, he is, I am. --Finish the phrase in your mind and you can feel its rightness. I.e., He’s taller than I (am). NOT “than me”.
3. He and his wife went to….is correct. –I barely need explain this horror structure in the language of the younger generation.
4.“…quicker on the uptake than she” …. Same thing as #2. “Quicker than she is.”
5.“You are reacting to this just as she would…”
6. If I lie down… or the bankbook was lying there --I, you, we lie down; I/we lay something down. He lies down. The book is lying there.
7. “….yesterday (in the past) I lay in bed after I laid the matter to rest….”
8. In neither-nor constructions the ‘number’ of the verb (action word) always agrees with the last noun stated: “…nor the minister IS telling me”. Or “Neither the Minister nor the counselors are telling me anything.” --Think it through.
9. “Whom do you trust…” --Whom is the direct object (accusative case of “Who”) of the verb ‘trust’. –To whom should I give this report? With whom am I going to be speaking? “Whom do you trust: him or me? Is correct. [Do you trust him or do you trust me?]
10.“I couldn’t …. I could not have cared less.” --Think it through.
11.“As I was saying.” --“As” is used to introduce a clause with a verb. I am as informed as she (is). “As you were telling me…”
12.If I were the only person… I, he, or she “were” –subjunctive verb form in conditional phrases beginning with “if.”
13.”None” is a contraction for “not one”, a singular noun requiring a singular verb: None is practical. Or none of the books in my library is a rare edition.
14. “Among” us three. –We use “between” when there are two nouns involved; “among” with three or more.
When people hear it right, they respond instinctively and you benefit.
Think what adjusting just these 14 points in your speech presentation –if they need adjustment—will do for your entire talk-presentation image!!!!
It’s amazing. It is important.
Next update: June 30, 2005