Me, Myself, and I

It’s time for me to speak out.  While my English isn’t aways perfect, there are some grammatical things that drive me nuts.  I’ve tried to document some examples that are an easy fix.

  • me vs I:
    • Correct: Here’s a photo of John and me.
    • Incorrect: Here’s a photo of John and I.
    • Why: The easiest rule here is to pretend the other people don’t exist.  Using the examples above, you’d never say “Here’s a photo of I,” right?  We’ve all had it beaten into our heads that it’s “I” and not “me” in most cases, but it doesn’t work here.
  • myself: If you use ‘myself’ you have to have an ‘I’ in there.
    • Correct: Here’s a photo of John, Sarah, and me, which I photographed myself.
    • Incorrect: Here’s a photo of John, Sarah, and myself.
  • begs the question: Just don’t use it, it doesn’t mean what you think.  You probably mean “raises the question.”
  • puncuation
    • commas and quotation marks: If you live in the US, commas go inside quotation marks.  There can be exceptions if it involves a something like a book or movie title in quotes.
    • ellipses: You know those three periods?  Those are called ellipses (…).  I use them a bit too much myself, but my two issues are more about usage.
      • Never try to accomplish this with three commas.
      • There are shortcuts on keyboards for this, so don’t type out three periods (option + ; on a Mac).
    • spaces: I personally use one space after a comma and two spaces after a period.  The most important part here is consistency.  If you work for a company and are writing public posts, make sure you know their format.
  • less vs. fewer: if you can count it, use fewer.  If it’s more nebulous and intangible and you can’t count it, use less.
    • Correct: We need to buy fewer apples.
    • Incorrect: We need to buy less apples.
    • Correct: We need to buy fewer food.
    • Incorrect: We need to buy less food.
  • “Where’s that at?”
    • Avoiding ending sentences with prepositions can be difficult, I know.  For this example just say “where’s that?” and drop the “at.”
  • Others:
    • you’re/your
    • there/their/they’re
    • it’s/its
    • too/to

My dinner with Albuquerque

twistersI’m going to let you in on a little secret.  I blogged about restaurants in New Mexico, despite not having been there when I started.  Phew, that feels like a weight off my shoulders.

I was asked by my employer several years ago to write about the food New Mexico food scene either based on neighborhood, type of cuisine, or other linking factors.  Luckily I’d already had some knowledge of Southwestern Cuisine, though New Mexico has some of it’s own distinct variations.  Red and green chile is almost an obsession in the region and can be found in many restaurants.  It’s essentially a stew that can be used as a sauce on everything from eggs to pizza.  I’d had a version before on a trip to Colorado, though New Mexicans will tell you it’s not the same.

Continue reading My dinner with Albuquerque