Posts Tagged ‘Palin’

WHO? WHOM? Bristol Palin article gets it wrong.

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Twenty-year-old Bristol Palin visits Birmingham this week to promote her memoir.  I doubt I had enough experiences or enough perspective at age twenty to write a memoir, but then, I'm not Bristol Palin.  (NOTE: The photo here shows Bristol at age 17, with her brother Trigg–not her son Tripp.)

Alec Harvey interviewed Bristol about the writing of the book and included this sentence in his comments:

In "Not Afraid of Life," Palin recounts her distrust of Meghan McCain, whom, she writes, wore thousand-dollar dresses and constantly complained about her treatment."

Whoops! Whether to use WHO or WHOM depends on the part the word plays in its own private clause.  In this sentence, WHO is the subject (WHO wore thousand-dollar dresses…).  Here are some examples of how WHOM (object) and WHO (subject) should be used in similar sentences:

Palin says she distrusted Meghan McCain, from WHOM (object) she heard constant complaints.

To WHOM (object) was Palin referring when she wrote about the thousand-dollar dresses?

WHO (subject) wore thousand-dollar dresses on the campaign trail?

Bristol Palin and Meghan McCain are both children WHO (subject) have politicians for parents.

 In "Lifestyle" writer Alec Harvey's sentence in The Birmingham News, WHO would be the correct choice.  The sentence should read as follows:

In "Not Afraid of Life," Palin recounts her distrust of Meghan McCain, who, she writes, wore thousand-dollar dresses and constantly complained about her treatment."

Welcome, Todd Palin, to my long list of apostrophe abusers!

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

I won't do a line by line edit of that now famous email sent by Todd Palin (via his BlackBerry) to Alaska's Republican senatorial candidate Joe Miller.  If you want to see the whole thing, you can read Juli Weiner's Vanity Fair article titled "Is Todd Palin's Grammar Sarah Palin's Secret Weapon?"  ( or one of the many others.

I will simply comment on one sentence because, as my readers know, apostrophe abuse is one of my pet peeves.  Here is the Todd Palin sentence:

Put yourself in her shoe's Joe for one day.

Although I do not fault people for taking a few shortcuts in email and tweets, I do fault them for obvious grammar errors such as this one.  I have said it before, and I will say it again:  DO NOT USE AN APOSTROPHE TO CREATE THE PLURAL OF A WORD.  The plural of SHOE is SHOES.  You would only use an apostrophe if you were referring to something that belonged to the shoe, as in "This shoe's heel is way too high for me."  I would also suggest that this sentence would be much easier to read if the noun of address (Joe) were set off by commas.  Even in an email or tweet, this should read:

Put yourself in her shoes, Joe, for one day.


Politics aside, I cannot resist pointing out that this is not the first time  Grammar Glitch Central has caught the Palin family in a usage goof.  If you look back at my blog post for Friday, November 7, 2008, you will see reference to a campaign letter I received from Sarah Palin's office.  It did not contain a formal date, but underneath her name at the top of the page was this phrase:

 Wendnesday  morning

How's that for phonetic spelling!

Proofreading is Really Important–Even in a Political Campaign!

Friday, November 7th, 2008

 I saved this goof until after the election because I didn't want to appear partisan before everyone voted. However, now that the decision has been made, I cannot resist pointing out a glaring goof that appeared in a letter Sarah Palin sent out about a week ago. There is no formal date at the top of the letter, so I am not sure exactly when it was written.

Underneath her name, SARAH PALIN, which is centered at the top of the page is this phrase:

Wendnesday Morning

I don't want to be like all those mean-spirited people who made fun of the Republican VP nominee for not knowing what the Bush doctrine was or whether Africa is a continent or a country and on and on, but I will suggest that it would be a very good idea to PROOFREAD what other people prepare for you to sign.

This letter has an identifier at the bottom of the page, suggesting it was issued by the Republican National Committee. Somebody there needs to PROOFREAD, including everyday words like WEDNESDAY.

I remember, back in elementary school, having trouble learning to spell the word "Wednesday" because the "d" was silent. Whenever I had to write this word, I would say to myself inside my head: WED…NES…DAY, pronouncing it exactly as it was spelled. To this day, I find myself doing that with  words that have silent letters.

If spelling is difficult for you, try my old trick.

 I hope you voted and that you were as proud as I was on Tuesday evening to see that we Americans could have a peaceful yet exciting day of elections in spite of our differences .