Sunday, August 17, 2008

Exchange w/ Mary Schmich, ChiTrib columnist

[I thot her reply was pretty cute]

Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2008 14:00 CDT
From: "Arnold Nelson"
To: "Mary Schmich" <>S
Subject: Say it ain't so, Mary

Mary Schmich, you are a nationally recognized newspaper columnist, so what a nobody like me is doing writing you about grammar (something you write about often, and very well) is hard to believe.

In your Sunday August 17 column "Transitions -- 'grooviest bookstore in Chicago' -- closes" you talk about Gayle and Howard closing their bookshop. You use the sentence "They were both in recovery programs — him for his addiction, her for her enabling — the day in 1989...."

The only objects in this phrase are 'recovery programs,' so how can you refer to Gayle and Howard here with the object pronouns 'him' and 'her'? Wasn't 'he' in a recovery program, and wasn't 'she' also in a recovery program?

Outside of that, you are a great interviewer, writer, and especially, a grammarian.

Arn Nelson 5056 North marine Drive Chicago

Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 16:04CDT
From: "Schmich, Mary"
To: "Arnold Nelson"
Subject: RE: Say it ain't so, Mary

Dang, Arn. I think you is right.

Thanks for reading so attentively and for coupling a compliment with a correction.

Mary Schmich

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