It’s not like I’m name dropping or anything, but this week Fox News dropped by the Norwegian Artist’s website, Steve Henderson Fine Art.
And while it would have been nice if they had picked up a few paintings to enliven the walls behind the people behind the desks, their minds were on grammar, not art, and the anonymous visitor checked out a popular article in our blog, Grammar Despair: Do I Say Him and Me or He and I?
(Yes, I wrote a book by the same name, and would have been gratified if the anonymous visitor had purchased copies for the office, but they must have had to hurry back to finish whatever article they were writing.)
My point, other than name dropping, is to reassure the uneducated slobs out there who have the effrontery to think that they can educate their own children — yes, you, the homeschoolers — that you’re not as dumb as people say you are, and just because you don’t know everything about everything (like . . . God) doesn’t disqualify you from the task you have set before you. (By the way, you’re not uneducated slobs in my book: you’re heroes.)
Journalists, and Grammar
Look at this way: somebody from a major news station — and it doesn’t matter if it’s the janitor or Bill O’Reilly — wasn’t sure of the difference between him and me or he and I, and they had to look it up.
If someone in the journalism profession — which presumably requires an in-depth knowledge of the English language — is unsure of this matter, then why do people attack you when you have to look up the formula for calculating the area of a circle?
Through the years that this article has been on the Steve Henderson website, we’ve received visitors from all around the globe. Here’s a partial list:
- The U.S. Coastguard, Navy, and Air Force
- The U.S. Patent Office
- Assorted federal and state agencies; municipalities
- The Department of Defense of another, anonymous country
- Universities, public school systems
- Insurance agencies
- Banks and financial institutions
- Hospitals and healthcare organizations
- Large private business conglomerates
We Don’t Know Who You Are
These are just the ones we can identify because their Internet host names are specific to their organization; there are hundreds of unidentifiable people from all countries and professions who read this article (we don’t know who you are; don’t worry). I’m sure that a significant portion of them are not homeschooling, and that a sizable number, as well, are “experts” in something or another.
Nobody accuses a lawyer of being incompetent because he says, “This paper, which was read by he and I, is extremely important.”
Neither do we question a Solon’s ability to serve We the People if she calls out to the aide, “How about a couple coffees for I and him?”
Few people would disembark a plane after overhearing the pilot tell the co-pilot, “Her and I had a long discussion about that last night.”
We shrug, and we say, “Well, you can’t know everything. That doesn’t disqualify you from doing what you do well. Grammatical errors happen.”
Yes, You Are Capable of This
Precisely, my friends, which is why I want you to stop feeling bad about not knowing everything, and having to run to the computer to look up the location of Albania. You’re looking it up, aren’t you? If you were truly an uneducated slob, incompetent to teach your child geography, you’d say, “Albania? Who cares? Isn’t that a model of automobile or something?”
You don’t need a degree in education or anything else to teach a child to read, to encourage him to be curious, to guide her into researching the answer to a question, to keep at them to practice the multiplication tables, to explain the Constitution and how our country is supposed to be abiding by it. Knowledge can be learned. Passion and commitment — for your children’s lives and their future, cannot.
Hold your head up, stand tall, and walk with a swagger. If you don’t know the Him and Me or He and I matter, read the article on the Steve Henderson website. You’ll be in very good company.
Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. Thursdays I write on Homeschooling, something I did for 20 years with four kids — now adults.
If you want to know more than the Him and Me and He and I issue, but not be so overwhelmed that your brain shuts down, look at my book Grammar Despair, available as a paperback and in digital form at Amazon.com.
Another book I wrote is Live Happily on Less, which is something we have done our entire lives. We own our home and the property it sits on, and not a day goes by that we don’t eat something that we have grown or produced ourselves. And yet we’re just regular people. You can be more independent, too, regardless of your circumstances, and this book gives you realistic ways how.
If you’re a Christian, I write Commonsense Christianity at BeliefNet three times a week. It’s what it sounds like: real, realistic, commonsense ways of living our faith without pummeling ourselves for being constant and consistent failures.
The artwork in my articles is by Steve Henderson, the Norwegian Artist I have been married to for 31 years. He sells originals and licensed open edition prints, as well as a DVD entitled Step by Step Watercolor Success.