• pic1
  • pic2
  • pic3
  • pic4
  • pic5
  • pic6
  • pic7
  • pic8
  • pic9
  • pic10

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Glamour & Grammar & Gaga

Welcome to the first edition of Glamour & Grammar, the new series in which I'll address grammar fails grammatical failures in pop culture. Today we'll be talking about Lady Gaga and her flagrant misuse of pronouns.

In Gaga's newest hit, "You and I," the singer mistakenly follows "about," a preposition, with "I," a subjective pronoun, instead of "me," an objective pronoun.


Using the word "I" when the word "me" is correct is the grammatical equivalent of sticking your pinky out while drinking beer. It's out of place, and it has the potential to look pretentious.

This grammatical mistake pains me more than all others because it's an overcompensation. People don't say "and I" unthinkingly. They say "and I" deliberately because they've been taught that "and me" is wrong.

Sometimes "and me" is wrong. Take, for example, Lady Gaga's 2009 hit "Bad Romance." In it she uses "me," an objective pronoun, as a subject.


In an attempt to avoid this ostensibly more grievous mistake, many people have begun to avoid "and me" and "or me" altogether.

They start saying things like:
"Lady Gaga waved at Alejandro and I." (object of preposition)
&
"If Gaga wants my bad romance, she better email my agent or I the contract." (indirect object)
&
"The paparazzi won't stop photographing Gaga and I." (direct object)
&
(in a slightly different vein)
"Lady Gaga and I's poker faces are unreadable." (possessive adjective)

These constructions overestimate the capabilities of "I" and underestimate the capabilities of "me." 

Just because "me" makes an unfit subject or predicate nominative doesn't mean it can't make an apt direct object, indirect object or object of a preposition. 


And just because "I" makes a first-rate subject or predicate nominative doesn't mean it can function as a direct object, indirect object, object of a preposition or possessive adjective. Read: "I's" is never a word. 

[In fact, I think the widespread acceptance of "I's" as a newfangled possessive adjective indicates just how far the "and I" epidemic has spread among English speakers. We already have "my," which is fully capable of both standing on its own and being paired with another possessive word (e.g. Lady Gaga's and my poker faces).]

So next time you're trying to pick between "me" and "I," ask yourself, "WWLGD?" And then do the opposite. 

Just kidding. But, seriously, I hope this blog undoes a bit of the damage done by Gaga's grammar and makes the future of pronouns a little bit brighter for you and me

p.s. Yes, I am aware of the fact that "you and me" doesn't rhyme with "cool Nebraska guy," but I'd be willing to bet she came up with the "you and I" line before the "Nebraska guy" line.

p.p.s. What types of grammatical errors pain you most?

12 comments:

  1. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. You're the coolest.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "So next time you're trying to pick between "me" and "I," ask yourself, "WWLGD?" And then do the opposite." best. advice. ever.

    i have a feeling i am really going to love this series. and i love the name you decided to give it! i'd recommend it as a song or album title to lady gaga, but it's probably too grammatical for her.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I's don undu-stayund whats yousa tryin to teach, missie...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I's don undu-stayund whats yousa tryin to teach, missie...

    ReplyDelete
  6. "Just because 'me' makes an unfit subject or predicate nominative doesn't mean it can't make an apt direct object, indirect object or object of a preposition."

    I love you. Like, a frik ton. I wanna be close enough that I can actually hear these words coming out of your mouth. Also, Glamor & Grammar? Perfection!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This post is hilarious, please do more! <3
    http://cupcakesandtreacle.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. This post is hilarious, please do more! <3
    http://cupcakesandtreacle.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  9. this is hilarious.
    I never even thought about grammar when listening to Gaga before, but now I am sure I will, and it will probably drive me crazy!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are brilliant. Please continue to spread your awesome Kate-ness to the world.

    ReplyDelete

Please and thank you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...