I used to be an English teacher. I’ve edited for a couple of small e-publishers. I currently work as an editor for an education company. I love writers and the English language. All that being said, I’ve never considered myself a grammar Nazi or a grammar diva. I know the rules, but I can’t always explain them or quote them from the rule book.
I make grammar mistakes.
Not often mind you, and most of the time, I’m aware of it and don’t correct the errors. Why? Because in everyday language, some things just sound better. That’s the way I write my books. I find that if something is grammatically perfect, it sounds too formal and it pulls me out of the story. It starts to feel more like a textbook than a novel.
But there are some offenses that I can’t ignore. Paul McCartney & Wings sang a song called “Live and Let Die.” It’s a great song and I love it, but one line kills me– “But if this ever changing world in which we live in…” There is no reason for the extra “in.” Well, the song needs it for cadence and rhythm, but it’s not a rhyme or anything. Couldn’t he have found a different syllable somewhere else to get the flow he needed?
My biggest pet peeve is the constant use of ‘you and I’ regardless of case. It’s like people hold on to this one grammar notion and apply it all the time. I see it on TV often and it makes me nuts.
Without going into a long grammar lesson, the position of the pronoun determines which one you use. You would never say, “Give I the ball.” The pronoun is in the objective case and you should then use the objective pronoun me. I find the mistake most often happen with the phrase “between you and I.”
Rascal Flatts does it in their song, “Life is a Highway.” The line reads, “There was a distance between you and I” and every time I hear it, I cringe. I know it was necessary in order to make the rhyme work, but it still bugs me.
Here’s a girl who felt the need to make a video about the poor grammar in songs:
Do you have any grammar triggers? Do you skim over errors as if they’re not there, or do they pull you out of a story or song?