"We the people"

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Fri Mar 15 19:08:55 UTC 2002

I suspect it's an unfortunate hypercorrection caused by the familiarity of
the phrase.  I'm now getting student papers with things like "Everyone
knows that if you give he/she so-and-so, ..."  They've been told they must
use singular with 'everyone', so they assume 'he/she' must follow, no
matter what the syntax is.  Alas, I've also heard something similar on
NPR--the ultra-prescriptivists, or so they think.

At 01:58 PM 3/15/02 -0500, you wrote:
>An interesting subheading from today's paper: "Why do I love wrestling?
>... It gives we the people what we want."
>Linguistic change being what it is, I was wondering whether this "It
>gives we ..." is more idiomatic than "It gives us ..." or is it just an
>editorial aberration?

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

More information about the Ads-l mailing list