Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Saturday I served as an usher for the Evanston Deanery Confirmation, which was held at St. Luke's. 88 persons were confirmed, received, or reaffirmed their baptismal vows and the Bishop laid hands on all of them. That was a looooooong confirmation service. Later that night I attended the 40th birthday party of a fellow seminarian, where a good time was had by all and cake was consumed.
Sunday I was a butt in a pew at St. Luke's for church in the morning, picked Dad up from the airport in the afternoon, went to Canterbury with him in the evening, and then had some drinks and desserts with friends in the late evening. Oh, and I turned 24 as well.
Monday, Dad and I saw Star Wars III, which was really good. I don't care what some people will say about it being cheesy - if you ask me, they're supposed to be so. This movie left me feeling really terrible though, the last few scenes were quite awful. Well done, but awful. The whole film was intense I thought.
Dad left this morning at 5:30am, so I got up to see him off and then instead of going back to bed, I made a large pot of coffee and did my Hebrew translation work that I had neglected during my birthday weekend and his visit. Now I am physically and mentally exhausted and ready for the final Idol contest tonight and then early to bed. I have nothing intellectual to say today. Well, some of you might think I don't ever, but, whatever...
Don't say that, Ryan. You can't be 24 - because that means, well, that means I'm that much closer to the wisdom and maturity that are expected at such an age...
In other news, happy birthday! If you get a chance, have a Tom Collins and pretend I'm around saying something dumber than my age should let me.
(I didn't know you were younger than I am.)
(Is there a good choice between saying "younger than me" which is incorrect and "younger than I" which sounds pretentious?)
Actually Beth, if my grammar instincts serve me right, "younger than I" by itself would be absolutely incorrect. Breaking it down into formal grammatical terms, we've got a comparative adjective followed by a preposition that needs to be followed by either an objective noun or some sort of phrase acting as an object for the preposition. "Younger than me" fills the former, "younger than I am" fills the latter. "Younger than I" is the result of alot of dense grammarians being overzealous in the fight to make Americans use objective pronouns less often (i.e. "Beth and me are arguing grammar"). Me is not the enemy, English teachers of the world! Me is not the enemy!
I'm perfectly comfortable with "me." My understanding (and AKMA/McGonagall backs me up on this) is that when choosing between me and I, one chooses the word that would be correct with the verb there. Therefore:
Give it to Mommy and me.
Give it to me.
You are sillier than I am.
You are sillier than I.
I've never seen in any grammar, nor heard from any grammarian, that when the verb drops off, the pronoun changes its case.
Me is indeed not the enemy. Don't tell "I" not to use "me." But "I" still has its moments.
Beth (grammar not-so-enthusiasts need not read)
You say (I'm not going to bring AKMA into this - he's just as capable of mistaken grammar as the rest of us) "one chooses the word that would be correct with the verb there..."
Therein lies much of my critique - the "I" alternative is something that would be correct were another component, i.e. a verb, supplied. "I" is a nominative pronoun - its role in English is that of a subject, nothing more. Without a verb, "I" makes no grammatical sense. The fact that there is no verb means that the condition upon which "I" would be strictly grammatically acceptable is not fulfilled. Would it be understood? Almost certainly. Would it be accepted by an English teacher? I'd bet on it. Does it balance out all parts of the grammar equation, though? Not to the degree that the two alternatives do - and that is why I say that "Ryan is younger than I" is grammatically incorrect. Thoughts?
I think that the little discussion between Beth and Brother Beal is an omen that you, Ryan, are destined to join a writing boot camp for next year!
My beloved Grandmother, who taught grammar for umpteen years, has weighed in on this topic.
"Ryan is younger than me." - this sentence is right out. Completely incorrect.
"Ryan is younger than I am." - this is the most correct sentence and would score the highest on her grammar exam.
"Ryan is younger than I." - this is technically correct, though not the best choice if you are reaching for the pinnacle of english language grammar.
Woodenly, the best sentence construction to convey this idea is: "Ryan is younger than I am younger." The final adjective became understood and over time, the "to be" verb also became understood while both are implied. She admitted that the english language grammar is changing, as all language does, and so things might be different from when she taught. However, I'm sticking with her. "Ryan is younger than I am."
Oh, now you've done it!
First of all, you can't compare "correct." A concept is either correct or it's not. A concept can be "more nearly correct" than another [incorrect] concept, but never "more correct."
A gazillion years ago, when we diagrammed sentences in grammar school, and the sentence "He is younger than I" popped up, we always had to add the verb "am" in parentheses to show that the verb is _understood_ if not explicit.
And finally, another correct way of saying that "he is younger than I" is to say "He is younger than I am young," [not "... am younger"].
And that, a bucket of warm spit, and $1.79 will buy a small Starbucks in some places.
-- Father of the intolerant grammarian.