Wednesday, August 29, 2007


The WSJ blog has a story about Alberto Gonzales's resignation letter, which has a major grammatical mistake:

It has always been my honor to serve at your pleasure. After much thought and consideration, I believe this is the right time for my family and I to begin a new chapter in our lives.

From the WSJ:

The mistake: “My family and I” should be “my family and me.” WSJ Supreme Court reporter Jess Bravin, who first pointed out Gonzo’s error to us yesterday afternoon, suspects it privately will delight the attorney general’s critics, who snicker at the sloppy way Gonzales ended his tenure. Such errors may be common in everyday speech, but perhaps they don’t belong in carefully deliberated public letters from cabinet officers to the president. So, Law Blog readers, what does Gonzales’s grammatical lapse symbolize: slipping of standards at DOJ, a rare common touch in official Washington, or, well, just a negligible gaffe?

How embarrassing!

Maybe Rumpole is A.G., as he often makes similar grammar gaffes on his blog...


Anonymous said...

It's about time that someone started pointing out these careless and lazy mistakes all over the blogs. Dumb spelling and grammatical mistakes give me a punch in the gut. "You're" is not the same as "your". "You're" is short for "you are" and you can only use it when you could substitute "you are" in its place. "Your", on the other hand, is the possessive ("your car" or "your house" for example). Lawyers should not be making these second grade mistakes.

Rumpole said...

I beg your pardon? I may not have gone to Hahrvahrard but I think I do a pretty good job writing.

Anonymous said...

When Sen. Larry Craig resigns he would be well advised to have the WSJ proofread his letter.

Rumpole said...

I quote from "Rumpole's rules of ussage" 3rd Ed:

Than, as used in comparatives, has traditionally been considered a conjunction; as such, if you're comparing subjects, the pronouns after than should take the "subjective case." In other words, "He's taller than I," not "He's taller than me"; "She's smarter than he," not "She's smarter than him." If, on the other hand, you're comparing direct or indirect objects, the pronouns should be objective: "I've never worked with a more difficult client than him."

There are some advantages to this traditional state of affairs. If you observe this distinction, you can be more precise in some comparisons. Consider these two sentences:

"He has more friends than I." (His total number of friends is higher than my total number of friends.)
He has more friends than me. (I'm not his only friend; he has others.)

The problem, though, is that in all but the most formal contexts, "than I" sounds stuffy, even unidiomatic. Most people, in most contexts, treat than as a preposition, and put all following pronouns in the objective case, whether the things being compared are subjects or objects. "He's taller than me" sounds more natural to most native English speakers.

One should avoid sounding stuffy, like certain stuck-up federal bloggers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads' up.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Dave for covering the AG's grammatical faux paux and Rumpole's hysterical commentary. Now I understand why neither of them had the time to cover and/or comment on Jay Weaver's front page article in the Herald this morning.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a pussy you must be to point that out! I, for one, am glad that sissy Kinglish grammar rules take the backseat to sound judgment. It is fucks like you hinder progressive communication. While you have your red pen out you might as well write "regressive overanalytical pussy" across your forehead. Fuck you!