GrammarBlog

Monday, 14 January 2008

A message from Christina

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Christina Aguilera has dropped a sprog. Heat readers are no doubt beside themselves. I, on the other hand, couldn't really claim to give a toss if it wasn't for the grammatical error made by Xtina (does that pseudonym make anyone else get a little bit of sick in the mouth?) in her official announcement.

Dear fans,

Today is a very joyful and special day for Jordan and I as we welcome our first son into this world.

Come on Xtina (oh no, it happened again), we've covered this before. You wouldn't say, "...a special day for I," so you must use "...Jordan and me". Using "I" doesn't make it any more official.

There are some who argue that "xxx and I" (as an object) should be treated as a separate form to "I", and that because usage is increasing we should learn to live with it.

In my town, stabbings are on the increase; should we learn to accept stabbing? Should we all join in with a little stabbing of a weekend? Doesn't that sound like fun?

Thank you, Kate, for bringing this to my attention and remaining resolutely belligerent on the topic.

Labels: , ,

105 Comments:
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So... using a different pronominal case system is equivalent to stabbing someone?

14 January 2008 at 15:33  
Blogger Gez said...

I thought that analogy would get a comment. I think the principle is sound. Just because it happens, doesn't make it right.

I'm all for language evolution as long as there is reason for change. Simply saying "everyone does it" isn't a good enough reason.

14 January 2008 at 17:43  
Blogger Mighty Red Pen said...

Here's my question: I don't know a ton about it, but my understanding is that X stands for the greek letter chi and is an accepted abbreviation for Christ -- hence, Xmas -- wouldn't it actually be Xina? I've always just found Xtina to be, well, incorrect.

14 January 2008 at 19:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What other reason is there besides "everyone does it"? That's how language works. You don't have to like it, of course, but it's normal.

14 January 2008 at 21:35  
Blogger goofy said...

In standard written English, conjunction has no effect on case assignment. Subject-position pronouns have subject case and object-position pronouns have object case, whether or no they are conjoined by "and". But in the grammar of many people, including me and Shakespeare, conjunction has an effect on case assignment. When two pronouns are conjoined by "and" they don't take the case we might expect.

Now Margaret's curse is fall'n upon our heads,
Whgen she exclaimed on Hastings, you, and I...
- Richard III, 1593

It can't be blamed solely on hypercorrection, since it antedates the teaching of English grammar.

14 January 2008 at 22:36  
Blogger Gez said...

I don't buy the hypercorrection theory either. I think it has to do with people trying to formalise their speech and writing inappropriately.

The same goes for 'myself' and 'yourself'. These should only be used after the relevant pronoun has already been used in the same sentence but I see business emails along the lines of "Moving forward, yourselves would action the below todos".

Ok, that's a slight exaggeration. Slight.

15 January 2008 at 11:11  
Blogger goofy said...

But I think that "people trying to formalise their speech and writing" is hypercorrection. When Shakespeare wrote that line from Richard III, I don't think he was trying to be formal by using "I". English grammar was not even taught until the 18th century.

15 January 2008 at 16:32  
Blogger Gez said...

Oh and MRP, I've thought the same as you about the X in Xtina. However 'Xina' would be pronounced the same as a certain warrior princess, would it not?

22 January 2008 at 10:56  
Anonymous legbamel said...

I'm going to link to this post as a perfect example of the sort of thing I'm in mid-rant about on my blog right now. I posted my third post on pronouns today, started by a mistake much like this from a(nother) flighty celebrity. Fight the good fight!

23 January 2008 at 16:09  
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