Southern English is here to stay

By WALTER REDDEN,

After playing bridge for an hour, the four of us remained seated to relax for a few minutes. We began to chat about everything. One lady started a conversation about the poor language and grammar skills so many people use. In many cases it is the poor language spoken at home during childhood. It is very difficult to teach the correct language when the poor language is entrenched in the person. Occasionally poor grammar is used on the radio, TV, from the pulpit and in the newspaper.

Our bridge partner gave an example that we all pondered: The person speaking would say “have lunch with my wife and I.” I is the wrong pronoun. With is the beginning of a prepositional phrase and the object of the phrase is me. So, “Have lunch with my wife and me,” is correct.

Another example that was heard recently: “Jack and myself are attending the game.” Myself is reflexive: “I hurt myself while driving a nail in the door,” (shows the correct usage of myself). “Jack and I are attending the game” is the correct usage of the pronoun I (nominative case-subject).

We all had to think a bit harder when it came to our third example. This example can be heard over the radio and TV in the process of explaining plays in a football game: “him running with the ball is my neighbor” or “him passing is the best quarterback from this area.” The correct wording is: “his” running and “his” passing. You should use the possessive case before a gerund – his is possessive. Running and passing are the highlights of the sentence – not him.

 

We learn our language as a child and it stays with us. Our Southern English is a bit different. We can all speak proper English. Try harder.

“Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with

all your heart, for consider how great things HE

hath done for you.”

                I Samuel 12:24

 Walter Redden is a Northsider.