Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Pronouns again

I've written about pronoun errors before, particularly when the writer erroneously uses the subjective rather than the objective form, thinking it's more genteel:

Come to dinner with Merle and I.


This error occurs because the pronoun is separated from the preposition which governs it: the ear would not allow,

Come to dinner with I.

I can find no such explanation for this morning's error in the Globe. Perhaps the writer was a little off centre in his relief that sanity had prevailed in the Alberta election. He writes about how the PC campaign managers realised a few days before the election that they were going to win:

It was that day that Ms. Elliot became confident, once again, they'd win. Neither her nor Mr. Carter predicted, however, they'd win so commandingly.


"She", of course, is the correct pronoun to use, as the subject of the verb "predicted". Was he thrown off by the conjunction "neither", thinking it was a preposition requiring the objective case? More likely, I suspect, it was a mere aberration, a one-off error, an unconscious reversion to his "her and I will clean the blackboard" school-slang days, made in the heady aftermath of a fortunate victory.

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