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“Myself and Joe Biden” and “Lisbon and myself” and America’s Misuse of the English Language

December 18th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

When will America start using the right.  At this point maybe never when the President of the United States, yes, POTUS, graduate from Harvard, an Ivy League school, totally screws up the use of a certain phrase that just drives me absolutely nuts.

Simon Baker is Patrick Jane and Christine Rose as Pauline in 'The Mentalist'

Simon Baker is Patrick Jane and Christine Rose as Pauline in 'The Mentalist'

Writers on television I understand.  Let’s be real.  Very few of us in the entertainment or broadcast industry can boast a Masters Degree in anything but drinking expensive scotch and under-managing our zippers.  I mean I majored in Political Science so my writing is questionable on this blog but I didn’t launch this web-site because I was a good writer.

I was just bored.

But the President messing this up?

Watching television last week the President, and I quote, said “Myself and Joe Biden…” would leave all questioning to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and the President’s Defense Secretary.  One online news service thought that Mr. Obama leaving a press conference like he did when Bill Clinton was visiting the White House was a story.

He gets beat up enough so I think leaving the press conference up to his underlings was probably a good thing after the last election.

But how can a President, highly educated, focused on solving a nearly 50% high school dropout rate, screw that up.  Now I’m not blaming him.  Just watch the news.  Or an episode of ‘The Mentalist” (Pink Channel Suit) and this mess of the use of a simple phrase gets botched again.  One line stated “Lisbon and myself…” in the words used by one of the actors in that show.

Old episode, just catching up on my DVR.  There are still commercials for Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman so I’m a bit delayed in my TV viewing.

Great show by the way, that ‘The Mentalist.’  Not highly educated writers.  OK that was cold, but let me give the right grammatical use of that line.

It’s “Joe Biden and I” not “Myself and Joe Biden…”

It’s Lisbon and I” not Lisbon and myself…”

So why is that so difficult?  Very smart people, at least on the President’s end.   But never is this phrase used correctly.

The next time you hear someone misuse the proper phrasing for this element of the English language tell them.  But not the President.  Oh yeah, the Secret Service.  Well, maybe it’s best to tell the writers of ‘The Mentalist.”

Rick Thomas

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