Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Grammar Lesson With Dan Patrick and Me.

The other day, I was listening to The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio, as I am wont to do on a Wednesday afternoon drive to get our paper printed. Best sports talk show on the airwaves (with Colin Cowherd running a close second). A-list guests, great back-and-forth exchanges, informed opinions. A very, very comfortable listen.

Patrick's former Sportscenter co-anchor, Keith Olbermann, who moved on to MSNBC several years ago after a battle of egos with ESPN, is now joining him for an hour each day, and Patrick has taken to calling that hour, "The Big Show With Dan and Keith."

On Wednesday, Patrick commented on something during the first hour about a guest that was appearing, and he said, "That's all coming up on The Big Show with Keith and me."

Ten or fifteen minutes later, he read an e-mail from someone who wrote in to chastise him for using bad grammar on the air, saying, "C'mon,'s Keith and I." Patrick half-heartedly apologized for upsetting English teachers everywhere, and went on about his business.

Meanwhile, I sat and stared at the radio (shoulda been staring at the road instead, seeing as how I was, um, driving, I know. But this was a grammar issue. Serious business!), wondering if Patrick or anyone on his staff would catch the fact that the e-mailer who took the time to correct Mr. Smooooth Sportscaster was actually wrong!

Dan Patrick was correct all along, when he said, "...coming up with Keith and me." You know how to test this? Remove "Keith and" from that sentence to simplify it, and see which one sounds correct. That's the one to use.

For example:

Correct: "Barry Bonds spent an hour making excuses for his extraordinarily large cap and shoe size while talking with Keith and me, denying any steroid use."

Correct (simplified): "Barry Bonds let it slip while talking with me off the air that he loooves the juice!"

Incorrect: "Brett Favre told John Clayton, Chris Mortensen, Keith Olbermann and I that he might play for another seven to ten years."

Incorrect (simplified): "Brett Favre also told I that he hopes Randy Moss will lead them to three more Super Bowls before they both retire on top."

See how that works, Mr. "I Before Me" E-Mailer Dude? The following examples also hold true:

Correct: "Keith and I often argue over who the best radio show host is during The Big Show hour."

Correct (simplified): "I know what the answer is, because the show's named after me, and I've got the best hair."

Incorrect: "The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, the Oakland Raiderettes, the Seattle Sea Gals and me took a week-long bus tour of several NFL stadiums."

Incorrect (simplified): "Me didn't care where we were going, me didn't want that week to end!"

I just sent an e-mail to Dan Patrick, correcting the grade-school grammarian who wrote in to correct him. I doubt I'll get a reply, because Dan's got better things to do with his time than drag out an "I vs. Me" battle over two or three days. But it made me feel better.

Sad, isn't it? On the day of the year when I should be listening attentively for insider tips on which sleeper teams to send deep in my NCAA bracket, I spend my time yelling at the radio over a grammar issue.

Me think me have I priorities a bit bass-ackwards.

"I never made a mistake in grammar
but one in my life and
as soon as I done it I seen it."
—Carl Sandburg


  1. Ha! My vote for the best post ever in your blog thus far. But don't you think about going out on top! You are the mayor who may or may not run for President of the bloggers who peacefully co-exist in the land of the grammar police!

    Good one Ggg.

  2. Wow. Is that really true? Your argument makes perfect sense. Yet it somehow goes against all I've been taught.

    Then again, I went to L.B. Clarke Middle School.