I almost missed a wonderful op-ed piece in today’s WSJ about the fact that the candidates’ grammar, unfortunately, tends to show both cowardice and ignorance. I admit to having one or two grammatical blind spots myself, not to mention a proofreading deficiency so extreme I probably qualify for federal aid, but my grammar is, most of the time, pretty good. In speech, I’ll slip into the colloquial occasionally just so that I don’t sound offputtingly formal, but I know the rules. My kids, too, know the basic rules: They can apply “well” and “good” correctly in a sentence (“we do things well and things are good” is my mnemonic) and they’re pretty strong on “me” and “I” when another person is added to the sentence mix (“Bill and I went to the store,” because, if Bill wasn’t there, you wouldn’t say “me went to the store”). Because I’ve got a handle on the basics, it grates on my ears when public speakers get things so terribly wrong. In addition, as James Taranto points out, Hillary has the horrible “you know” twitch, which is up there with “like” and “um” when it comes to auditory irritation.
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