I have received correspondence indicating a reader “cringed” when I improperly used “I” instead of “me” in this week’s newspaper column. Grammar-wise, the correspondent is absolutely correct. But there is a larger context. I composed the following reply and posted it in the corresponding forum, but then deleted it because comment-section responses too easily appear adversarial. The reader in question was not pulling a “gotcha!” which–as I have stated previously–makes a huge difference. Here’s my deleted comment, detached from the original source:
Thank you for your kind words. I’m grateful for every single reader. Regarding the “I”/”me” issue, I’ve written about this previously…I value and do my best with things like grammar, punctuation, and structure. But a lot of times I write like I talk. Like where I come from. And I love where I come from. Sometimes talking that way feels like putting on well-worn jeans. I also write hundreds of thousands of words per year and millions per decade; errors invariably sneak through. That particular column was turned in (I checked the time stamp) at 2:47 a.m. after a day and half a night with a kid who’d been sick for a week. Finally, my terrific editor is overworked and likely underpaid. So when one of these slips through, just know I’m hard at work on the next thing, having taken your reminder into account.
The upshot of this reader’s note? It drew my attention to something I can do better. So again and as always: Thank you for reading.
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