[bct] Comment to Lynnette on language

  • From: "Joni Colver" <joni.colver@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "BCT" <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 08:09:51 -0600

Lynnette I enjoyed your scattering brain crumbs podcast.

Regarding your confusion about when to use was or were, I too find that 
confusing at times.  Maria is correct in saying that when if is being used 
in a sentence the correct word to choose is usually were.  Technically that 
is called a subjunctive mood.  In plain English here is the definition of a 
subjunctive mood:

Used to express a wish or a possibility

I always think of the phrase from Fiddler on the Roof: "If I were a rich 
man," to help me remember this.  So it would be correct for me to say: If 
only I were rich I could buy a Milestone 311 and a Trekker and all the 
chocolate available online.

My current personal pet peeve is the ubiquitous use of myself when me is 
correct.  They must be teaching this in Managers 101 because all of the 
people I come in contact with in a managerial position love to write memos 
that include things such as "Contact Judy or myself if you have any 
questions."  I can't always recite a grammatical rule to contradict 
something but I have an internal cringe-o-meter that sometimes reaches an 8 
on the Richter scale of incorrect grammar usage.


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