403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


Grammar Alert: "Me" and "I"

political cartoon

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 27, 2016

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette cartoonist John Deering’s political cartoon in the editorial section for April 27 has me puzzled.

I’m not entirely clear as to what the cartoonist’s chief message is, but the secondary message bothers me a lot.

Regard the first two speech balloons:

Ungrammatical cartoon speech balloons

The first speaker uses the phrase “between me and John Kasich.”

The second speaker seems to be correcting the phrase to “[between] John Kasich and I.”

However, “between me and John Kasich” is grammatically correct, if a little impolite. I would prefer to put the other person first: “between John Kasich and me.”

The phrase “between John Kasich and I” is non-standard English grammar.

Read more about the use of pronouns following prepositions: “Between You and Me” vs “Between You and I.”

Common Sense or Common Knowledge?

man standing on three paint cans to paint a ceiling fixture

A situation that called for common sense.

The Washington Times published a quiz with the title “Are You Common Sense Smart?” and the invitation “Take our ‘simple’ quiz to find out.”

I came across the link on Facebook. […]

Jeopardy Writers Misrepresent Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

“Lay,” NOT “laid,” Jeopardy writers!



On the February 16, 2016 Jeopardy episode, one of the categories in Double Jeopardy was “Women in Poetry.” The $1200 clue references one of Poe’s poems:

Poe wrote that he laid “down by the side” of this maiden
“in her […]

Toilet Paper Ads, Then and Now

Cottonelle Woman

Not-so-classy British speaker

Every time a Cottonelle toilet paper ad comes on, I hit the remote, either to mute it or to change the channel. According to the usual US television trope, people who speak with a British accent are supposed to be classy.

Toilet paper […]

Hot Air and the Media

Donald Trump as parade balloonThis morning, NPR reporter Steve Inskeep spoke the words “Donald Trump” and stopped. After a pause, he said, “That’s it. That’s all I need to say. You know you’re interested.”

I have news for Steve Inskeep, NPR, CBS, and all the other alphabetical purveyors of what […]

Marigold, Lady Edith, and the Word “Ruse”


Marigold and Edith

Because of the taciturnity and often blank expression of the little girl who plays Marigold Gregson on Downton Abbey, I wondered if the character was supposed to have developmental problems.

Several […]

The Geography Teacher Made a Poor Choice

Although my own family tends to regard me as a bleeding-heart-liberal, I cannot agree with the knee-jerk reaction from liberals regarding the community outcry in Staunton, Virginia about a public school teacher’s assignment to write the Islamic statement of faith, the shahad, in Arabic letters.

The bulk of the comments in defense of the assignment imply […]

The Salem Witches and American Education

Although every textbook account that mentions the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts enumerates the punishments meted out—none of which involved burning at the stake—many Americans persist in the notion that the Salem witches were executed in that manner. Witness this indignant comment I read in a letter to the editor condemning the US public’s penchant […]

A More Acceptable Name for the Murderous Horde

Americans are acquainted with two acronyms used by world leaders and journalists to refer to a terrorist organization that wishes to impose sharia law on  the world: ISIS and ISIL.

This weekend, owing to the horrendous events in Paris, English-speakers previously unacquainted with it have been introduced to another acronym. In French, it’s spelled DAESCH; in […]

A Whole Year To Go!

This morning I heard something very discouraging on the radio. The presidential election is still one year away.

Twelve more months of dreary election coverage.

I have two suggestions for the news media.

1. From today until October 1, 2016, limit election coverage to one story per candidate per week.

2. Instead of reporting the non-issues and personal attacks […]