[f_minor] OH NO - No One Again

Robert Merkin bobmerk at earthlink.net
Sat Sep 22 16:09:38 MDT 2012

Yup, and don't dare forget -- no one, everyone, everybody, someone, anyone -- they all must be followed by the personal pronouns "him," "her," "his" or "hers" -- NEVER by "them" or "their." They're all mandatorily singular.

For examples of well-paid professional illiteracy, watch the local TV news almost every night! (They're TV Talking Heads hired to be pretty to look at. I was in print journalism.)

btw the above Grammar Law is one of hundreds of English grammar rules which are entirely arbitrary and synthetic, most from the late 19th century, pedants demanding we speak English this way because that's how the Romans spoke Latin. (Actually, the best-educated Romans spoke a lot of Greek, the dying Caesar said "Et tu, Brute?" in Greek.) 

Even "The Elements of Style" (Strunk and E.B. White) reeks of pedantic synthetic arbitrariness.

They're just pedants. Don't let 'em scare you. Also, if you use their perfect grammar in a saloon, somebody might punch you in the nose.

You just might be a pedant if, when the phone voice asks "May I speak to Joe Jones?" do you reply, "That's me" or "This is I"?


P.S. Wystan Hugh Auden didn't like Schikaneder's Freemason-code libretto for "The Magic Flute," so he wrote his own original English libretto. Anybody got it? I've never been able to find it. I don't even know if it was ever performed.

Auden just got a huge unexpected burst of popularity when his poem "Funeral Blues" was read in the 1994 movie "Four Weddings and a Funeral."

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves, 
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Anita Monroe 
  To: Discussion of the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. 
  Sent: Saturday, September 22, 2012 10:33 AM
  Subject: Re: [f_minor] OH NO - No One Again

  Mary,  Not to worry.  It's easily repaired.  I was a grammar teacher for several years, and made war on "noone".  One year I charted the grammar mistakes made by my gifted students, and "noone" stood as number one.  It truly is a sneaky, virtually addictive error.  I started a chart on the board and we made a joke of counting how many times it showed up.  

  Yes, I enjoyed the Auden/Benjamin Britten collaboration.  Where in the world did you find it?


  On Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 9:58 PM, maryellen jensen <maryellenjensen28 at hotmail.com> wrote:

    Anita, everyone,

    As soon as I hit the the send button I knew I had done it again: "noone" and I cringed a thousand cringes but alas it 
    was too late. Anita I shall do better in the future and point taken 100 percent. Why does it happen? Drives me crazy.

    Anita, did you like the W.H. Auden/Benjamin Britten collaboration?

    Mary the repeat offender  
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