Your mind has a week off with this easy one. It’s simple: Across doesn’t end with a “t”.

Keep your ears open. Lots of people add the letter “t” to across and it comes out sounding like ‘acrossed.”

Perhaps the “t” has been added because many of us say something like “We went across to the whatever….” We slide right from the “s” of across and right into the “t” of to.

That’s cool. But let’s leave the “t” with to when we don’t follow across with that word.

My apologies—you might start hearing “acrossed” all over the place now. I hope you don’t.

Words to Never Say, Part Five

Last week, we learned that saying “Her and I” and “Him and I” at the beginning of a sentence—and any variation thereof—is wrong. If you and someone else are doing something, you say “She and I” or “He and I” did something, or are planning to!

But if something is being done to her and you or to him and you, you still can’t say “her and I” or “him and I” at the END of a sentence. This is much more common, but no less incorrect. Let’s say that Andy is giving the ball to Lisa and to you—you would say “Andy is giving the ball to Lisa and me.” Or “Andy is giving the ball to Jeff and me.”

I’ve heard people say that because it’s correct to say that “She and I” or “He and I” is correct at the beginning of a sentence where he, she and I are the folks doing the action, that it just “sounds better” to say “her and I” and “him and I” at the end of a sentence or thought. But that’s not really the case; it’s just that someone was taught the wrong thing. Sorry. But that’s the case.

The simple way to know what to say is to drop the “she and” and the “he and” and see what you have: “Andy is giving the ball to…me.” You’d never say, “Andy is giving the ball to I.” Putting “her and” and “him and” into the sentence doesn’t change anything. When we put the “her and” and the “him and” in, we keep the “me.”

Just keep dropping out the “her and” and the “him and” when you’re tempted to say “her and I” or “him and I”, and boldly end with “me.” After a while, you’ll come over from the Dark Side of Grammar and keep the “me” where it belongs without feeling weird about it.

Two week lesson wrap-up: Never say “Her and I” or “Him and I”–ever.


Words to Never Say, Part Four

I’m dividing what is essentially the same idea into two entries—this week and next.

The words/phrases you should never say again (ever) are:

Him and I, or

Her and I.

I’ll keep this simple! If some folks are DOING something—walking, going, planning, giving—anything that involves them doing the action, you must say (at the risk of sounding dumb)…

He and I, or

She and I.

(Sad confession: If I hear “Her and I went to the mall” or any close relative of that sentence one more time, I may just lose it.)

So just keep saying “He and I” and “She and I” until you just can’t begin a sentence or describe those doing an action with any other phrase.