language & grammarThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees an end to the misuse of the first-person pronoun

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree, No. -345.34Q: The Emperor has said it before, and he will say it again: A smattering of education is a dangerous thing. Take your average college graduate. He fancies himself educated because he holds a four-year degree. This fancy is very debatable, since the Emperor recently heard a university student say to a police officer: “We haven’t drank nothing. Is that chill?” But that is neither here nor there. These “educated” folk, somewhere along the line, wind up learning how to say, “Dave and I went to the dance,” instead of “Dave and me went to the dance.” And they like this. “Dave and I” sounds educated; proper; downright suave. This is, they think, the way educated people speak. Because they are so enamored of this linguistic savoir faire, they decide to apply it in other situations, albeit the wrong ones: “Lucius went with Dave and I to the dance.” This is wrong. Because this is wrong and because it vexes the Emperor, it is now a crime. To save one’s self from prosecution at the hands of the Imperial Powers, one need only perform an experiment before speaking: simply take out the “Dave.” In the aformentioned sentence, it becomes: “Lucius went with I to the dance.” Not so suave anymore, eh Professor?  The Emperor’s not going to graph the sentence for you; figure it out or suffer.

The Punishment: Speakers of the pretentious and misplaced “I” will be forced to eat a bucket of sheep’s eyes until they vomit, thereby getting a visual lesson as to what they are doing on a daily basis with the verbal homophone, as they vomit forth “eyes.” Get it? Huh? (The Emperor is pleased with his Dante-esque brilliance on this one, if he does say so himself. )

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning. 

Chris Matarazzo is a writer, composer, musician and teacher of literature and writing on the college and high school levels. His music can be heard on his recent release, Hats and Rabbits, which is currently available. Chris is also the composer of the score to the off-beat independent film Surrender Dorothy and he performs in the Philadelphia area with the King Richard Band. He's also a relatively prolific novelist, even if no one seems to care yet. His blog, also called Hats and Rabbits, is nice, too, if you get a chance...
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2 Responses to “The Emperor decrees an end to the misuse of the first-person pronoun”

  1. This is an odd website, but I must say that I LOVE this column. Bravo.

  2. Thank you, Lorenzo. The Emperor is pleased. And we wear our oddness with great pride here at WFTC.

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