After much pondering and many long discussions with my wife, I have decided to jump into the race for President of the United States 2028. I know it's a little early, and the campaign will be arduous, but I have been preparing myself for a long while, practicing the victory sign with both hands at the same time.
My platform is simple, one plank: I pledge to the American people to wage war on one of the most insidious threats to the American way of life since Ben Franklin flew a kite in a storm. The VFW, NOW, DAR, AIM, MADD, NAACP, ASPCA, MLA, NRA, LBJ, and JFK all support my campaign and have contributed heavily.
We all want the best for our kids. Help them get the best by encouraging them to speak and write correctly. Here’s a humble beginning; no more “Me and himming”:
I, you, he, she, it, we, they
These pronouns refer to people and things that do stuff, like go to movies. They are subjects:
She and I went to a movie.
me, you (again), him, her, it (again), us, them
These are the people and things to which stuff is done, like getting run ragged. They are objects:
Coach ran him and me ragged.
A kid-friendly hint: have them try one subjective pronoun at a time; point out they would never say, “Me (or her) went to a movie.” That’s how they can check: “I went to a movie.” “She went to a movie.” “She and I went to a movie.” They’ll get that.
Same for the objective pronouns: They would never say, “Coach ran he (or I) ragged.” Again, have them try one at a time: “Coach ran him ragged.” “Coach ran me ragged.” “Coach ran him and me ragged.” That’s the tough one; although it’s correct, it sounds weird.
Yes, I am talking about the pervasive, relentless, unmitigated, diabolical flipping around of subjective and objective pronouns. If we do not act decisively, the "me-‘n-himmers" will soon be old enough to procreate. What will happen if a "me-‘n-himmer" hooks up with a "her-‘n-Ier?" Can you imagine the sentences that will come out of the mouths of their offspring? “Me and him bought her and I Jimmy Choo handbags.”
How will I implement my plan? First, I will create youth groups, young women and men who will wear red arm bands with slogans, “Lips that touch bad grammar shall never touch mine.” Stuff like that. I also plan to resurrect the pillory, that thing where you put your head and hands through and they lower the top half, so you look stupid with your head hanging through a hole. I know there’s one in Williamsburg, and I think Boston has a couple.
But I can’t do this alone. I need the help of every adult, especially coaches, teachers, and parents. Tell the kids, “You may say anything you want to around your friends, but you may not sound stupid in this house (on this court, field, track, diamond, in this classroom).” You wouldn’t let them drive on bald tires; don’t let them shoot their futures in the foot by getting used to bad grammar.
Reality check: Most children listen to their parents, but would never let their parents know. When your children climb into their twenties, you will have a lot of good laughs with them, as you discover they were listening the whole time.
Now, parents, if you will, I need a few moments alone with your kids. Are they gone? Okay, kids, here’s the deal: Your parents’ greatest fears are that you will contract some terrible disease, get hooked on drugs, be in a horrific car accident, or use “Me and her” as a compound subject in a college interview.
Fact: When the college interviewer says, “Tell me about your best friend and what the two of you like to do together,” she wants you to say, “Me and him play Destiny and hang out,” so she can quickly cross another name off her long list. Next! Why not ruin her process with, “He and I hitchhiked from Lake George to El Paso to get closer to real Americans, and that experience has helped him and me to understand more about our country. When we were in Appalachia . . . .”
A few more thoughts: Unless you are standing in the shadow of El Capitan or staring at a leafy sea dragon, it’s time to retire “awesome.” Do not use it when you’re working at BCBGMAXAZRIA and a customer tells you he has correct change. Also, do not have this conversation with yourself while within ten feet of another person: “So he tells me this, and I’m like. And he’s like. So I’m like. You know? Then he goes, ehh. And I’m like, whoa.”