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A Visit to Ikea, A Little English Lesson and Hanging On to the Edge My Soap Box

While in Seattle recently to visit our new great granddaughter we went to Ikea in Renton, WA. If you've never been to an Ikea you are in for a treat because of the sheer vastness of it. They pretty much cover a city block. I saw much I would love to have but I either couldn't get it home in our car or I had no place to put it after I could get it here. I settled for 2 things. This little white enamel-type pitcher...

and this cutting board that hooks over the edge of the cabinet to hold it in place. Price for the cutting board was only $9.99! A steal for a very large cutting board.

Recently, I found this little book and purchased it. It contains the things we learned in school back in the 40s and 50s and it intrigued me because I'm sure I've forgotten a lot of things. In fact, I've forgotten more than most kids in schools today learn! Indulge me for a moment.

How many of us know the conjunctions or even what they are? Hmmmm?

The most common—no, let me say here it is ONE of the two most common errors in the English language—I hear on a daily basis: the misuse of pronouns. Him, her and me are used most commonly at the beginning of a sentence incorrectly (this sentence is acceptable for learning here of course!). Him and me are dating. Nuuuuuu, incorrect. Her and I are dating. Nuuuuu, incorrect again. It should always, ALWAYS be she, he, or I at the beginning of a sentence. (Can you tell my buttons are pushed with the way even our college graduates are coming out of universities with much lacking in their English skills?) What is wrong with correcting these individuals? It sets them straight in an embarrassing moment but will save them much more embarrassment when giving a talk or presentation for work. Imagine!

The second most common mistake is when someone says "between he and I". Nuuuuuu, noooooo, NOOOOO! It is proper to say between him/her and me. If you take out one of the pronouns here and just say it like this: There was a confrontation between he and I, then you will realize it is correct to say between him and me or between you and me. I'm even not punctuating properly in this post because most people wouldn't recognize proper punctuating. I bold more than I should because I want something to stand out here and most of the time it wouldn't be recognized if I just italicized it. I'm not kidding you when I say I hear university graduates speaking improperly! I'm not one bit afraid to correct them—privately, of course, so as not to embarrass them.

Get on your kids' English teachers to correct them. Don't settle for "but we don't want them to be afraid to express themselves". Baloney! Proper language and/or grammar is proper language and/or grammar and will determine what people think of them in the future. I don't mean their self-esteem; I mean how smart they are in their own language. Improper language makes them appear ill-schooled and ill-equipped in the marketplace.

There. I am now officially down off of my soap box...for a while.

And I think I just broke the record for longest title for a blog. *Sigh*...

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