The first-person singular pronouns of English are ‘I’, ‘me’, and ‘myself’. Although in daily speech people have been known to use them somewhat interchangeably, IMO it’s worth knowing which roles those different words are supposed to play in a sentence.
Give yourself a quiz. Read each of the sentences below and decide whether it is grammatically correct.
The voice came from an oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror which formed part of the surface of the right-hand wall. Winston turned a switch and the voice sank somewhat, though the words were still distinguishable. The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely.
So. What shape is the telescreen? Does “oblong” mean “rectangle”?
I can’t look at the URL printed on this bag and not think of the “salt and battery” (assault and battery) couples costume concept, which relies on the two meanings of “battery”. It’s kind of a tasteless pun, despite the salt!
This collection of translations of Bill Watterson’s The Revenge of the Baby- Sat probably got started when I went to Italy in 2002 and chanced upon a copy of the Italian translation.
Undoubtedly I bought the Portuguese one in Portugal in 2004 and the German one in Germany in 2008. My husband fetched me the French one from France at some point or other, having somehow determined that the contents were the same even though the cover was different. A neighbor kindly brought back the Chinese version for me when she went to visit family in Beijing recently.
Seeing Calvin’s words in other languages that use the Roman alphabet is one thing; seeing them in Chinese characters is quite strange.
Below are images of the six different book covers: French, Italian, Portuguese, German, English, and Chinese.
There are translations available in other languages, including Spanish (ISBN 9786075271170), Dutch (ISBN 97890542562), and Czech (ISBN 9788074490798), as well…
I saw this message displayed on a programmable sign over a highway, prefaced by the notation “Georgia Law”.
Obviously, the message is
Turn on [your] headlights when [it is] raining.
The intent is clear, but the syntax is awful.
Syntactically, the implied subject of both the verbs “turn” and “rain” is “you”, so technically the sentence means:
Turn on [your] headlights when [you are] raining.
I don’t have any particular suggestion for how to “improve” the sign. Signs aren’t written in normal syntax because of space constraints, so any alternate version would have to be really short. Writing “If it is raining, turn on your headlights” is obviously longer and not obviously better, because even when space is not limited, we expect signs to be written in a terse style that lacks pronouns.