• Will You Be Watching Barack Obama's Speech With a Red Pen?

    barackobama11Tonight, as you know, is President Obama's State of the Union-ish address (and the Indecision liveblog-ish liveblog). And given the current state of the union, the pressure is high. On him, not us…

    When President Obama speaks before Congress and the nation tonight, he will be facing some of his toughest critics.

    Grammar junkies.

    Telltale signs of a grammar junkie include semicolon-shaped track marks and dangling participles hidden under the bed along with "the works" (various editions of Strunk and White). They'll turn down social invitations to stay home and snort adverbs with the shades drawn.

    Since his election, the president has been roundly criticized by bloggers for using "I" instead of "me" in phrases like "a very personal decision for Michelle and I" or "the main disagreement with John and I" or "graciously invited Michelle and I."

    …A related crime that Mr. Obama stands accused of is using "myself" to dodge the "I"-versus-"me" issue, as when he spoke last November of "a substantive conversation between myself and the president." The standard practice here is to use "myself" for emphasis or to refer to the speaker ("I’ll do it myself"), not merely as a substitute for "me."

    Yes, well. These are important criticisms, but considering the aforementioned state of the union, I'm willing to give the guy a temporary pass on grammar and usage. Just this once.

    Tonight, there's only thing Barack Obama needs to say: "Me fix country. You no worry, guys. Me fix economy real fast so no recession." For all I care, he can say this using gestures, Pictionary, interpretive dance or a freestyle rap backed by Michael Steele and the Funky Bunch.

    As long as he says it.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Grammar


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