What I mean, of course, is not that I’m confused by President Obama’s speeches, but that he has a tendency to choose the wrong pronoun when referring to himself. Like many people, he seems to have had the “Suzy, Sally, Billy, and I” pattern drilled into his head as a child to the extent that he finds it difficult ever to say “Michelle and me,” even when that’s the correct choice (as in, “Thank you for inviting Michelle and me to this event”).
Here’s a great article from the New York Times that explains why Obama’s preferred pronoun construction in incorrect, and how past presidents stack up in their pronoun performance.
I’m a firm believer in simplicity in writing. Using 5-syllable words when 2-syllable words would do may make you *feel* smart, but it doesn’t make you look smart. One of my standard tasks as an editor is combing through language looking for ways to make meaning clearer — and simplicity in language helps without exception.
Here’s a recent blog post from my former colleagues at The Internet Marketing Center that explains another reason why simple language is best — unfamilar, complicated-sounding words can actually scare your readers.
Check the article out here.
Like this subject line, which arrived in my inbox today:
Yak is bringing more jobs ot Canada!
Ot Canada, eh?