Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Watch those words...

Mes Amis

Grammar is a tricky beast.

Consider the following:

My two best friends back in the day were Jack Granville and Ailsa Simone. He was tall, with dark hair and big, workman-like hands. She was petite, blonde and with sparkling blue eyes.

They went down south, got married. Told me I'd better keep in touch.

I never saw them again.

Read it again.

Realise that the last two paragraphs aren't talking about Jack and Ailsa.

They're actually talking about Ailsa's sparkling blue eyes.

So, lesson of the day?

Watch those pronouns.

They're real bastards.

(Guess what I'm doing this evening?)

Au revoir



Sandra Ruttan said...

When you said, "What those words" I thought they were going to tap dance or something.

They just sat there and didn't do anything. I feel misled.

John P said...

What should it say?

I never saw my two friends again.

Skip the pronoun altogether?

Steven said...

I think you can't possibly account for every reader who would confuse your pronoun use in this case. Common sense may well be in short supply, but the reader who misunderstands you here is either willfully perverse or in for a very tough road through life.