About ten years ago I was a guest panelist on a television program along with three others, all of whom were TV critics. When the subject was raised by one of the panelists as to why television was not "as good as it should be" I of course replied.
I told of my former boss John Mitchell, an extraordinary television salesman meeting with a critic who asked him "John, why isn't there more good television" and John replied "good for who?"
One of the critics, from a New York newspaper, jumped in and said, "Norman, it should have been "good for whom?" I gave the critic a long disdainful stare and thanked him for the lesson in grammar.
My dear friend Charlie Schwartz was not at all comfortable with President-elect Obama's use of the word "I" instead of "we" and "my" instead of "our" concerning Obama's plans following his inauguration. Charlie, along with others, apparently was not thrilled by this. and I will write more about it in a moment. I (not we) loved My Fair Lady when Eliza Doolittle laments about Freddie's lack of physical attention and sings:
Words! Words! I'm so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
first from him, now from you! Is that all you blighters can do?
Don't talk of stars burning above; if you're in love,
Working in the entertainment industry for almost 50 years I am acutely aware of the dangers of "words." There is that very old question "Norman, how did you know that he was lying?" I replied that "it was because his lips were moving!"
It is time to define the word "pronoun".
"A pronoun can replace a noun or another pronoun. You use pronouns like "he," "which," "none," and "you" to make your sentences less cumbersome and less repetitive. Grammarians classify pronouns into several types, including the personal pronoun, the demonstrative pronoun, the interrogative pronoun, the indefinite pronoun." I told Charlie that it matters little to me what pronouns anyone who is our President uses, it matters to me what he actually does as President that matters.
We face the greatest crisis in my lifetime and I do not care one teeny little bit about pronouns. As a not so small aside that has nothing at all to do with pronouns, I heard on NPR this morning that our Military maintains 737 bases in 130 countries, although many estimate the true number to be over 1,000.
I (we) are upset by this along with so much more perpetrated by "he, him, they, or them." I do wish that Americans will look to see the best in our new president and allow him to say some things that they don't like.
After all, how does President Sarah Palin sound to you. We should count our blessings, not our pronouns.
I or me