(Reposted by permission. Originally appeared on nationally syndicated humorist Tracy Beckerman’s blog, Lost in Suburbia.
Dear Grammar Police,
I wanted to thank you publicly for noticing a grammatical error in my recent column (“Tracy Beckerman, Dis-Robed”), with regard to my use of the pronoun “I.”
Apparently I had written, “the kids and I,” when I should have said “the kids and me.” This was a gross error of unparalleled magnitude and I apologize profusely for committing this miscarriage of syntax and offending your finely tuned grammatical sensibilities. I realize that as a writer, I should be well-schooled in the use of “I vs. Me,” but it’s (its?) often difficult to remember all the rules when I’m focused on much less important things like making sure my humor column is funny. There (Their? They’re?) are so many rules to remember, (:? ;?) such as not ending a sentence with a preposition like another writer does who (whom? that?) I went to school with. Or a sentence fragment. And starting a sentence with a conjunction.
I’m sure my 3rd grade English teacher, Mrs. Kinsler, (may she rest in peace. Or is it piece?) would be appalled to know that I had not yet mastered the “I vs. Me” rule. She once sent a letter home to my parents and I (me and my parents?) about my ongoing problems with this rule, and one time she even sent me to the principal (principle??) because of it.
Shame on me that this is something I still have a problem with.
Sadly, as a writer in today’s technological age, I have become lazy and prefer to spend my time lying (laying?) around eating bon bons and letting the computer’s spell and grammar check do the work for me. This is a continual (continuous?) challenge for me and something I know I need to work on because it affects (effects?) my readers who (whom?) count on me to get it right (write? rite? Jeez.). I plan to address this forthwith (in a fortnight, actually, if I am being forthcoming), and assure you my editors and I (and me? Me and my editors? Whatever!) will make every attempt to make sure this does not happen again.
Thank you so much for your understanding. You sound like someone I could really be friends with.
Sincerely, or most sincerely, but definitely not sincerefully,
— Tracy Beckerman, part of the EBWW faculty, writes the syndicated humor column “Lost in Suburbia,” which is carried by more than 400 newspapers nationally. Combined with her blog by the same name, “Lost in Suburbia” reaches up to 10 million readers weekly. She wrote the book Rebel without a Minivan: Observations on Life in the ’Burbs. Her next book, Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs, will be published next spring.