July 24th, 2008


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Discussion (24)¬

  1. Poodle says:

    Er… really that ought to be “Murai and me”, not “Murai and I”.

  2. Haven says:

    Ooh, bad choice of words. That’s gonna come back to bite him, I’m sure.

  3. Lanthir says:

    Grim Eyes was one of my favourite characters even when she was trying to kill and eat Digger. Now I’m liking her more and more.

  4. Jon says:

    VERY mean deer that can talk. Who’da thunk somebody that looks like prey could cow a hyena?

    …okay, WITHOUT a pickaxe.

  5. Rave says:

    Actually, it /is/ Murai and I.

  6. Linktoreality says:

    Nope, the way you figure out whether to use ‘I’ or ‘me’ is to look at the sentence without the “Murai and”. So, in this case, it would be “He was even reasonably polite to me” without Murai, and with her it should be “He was even reasonably polite to Murai and me.”

    Now, starting with a sentance like, “I walked all through the day,” then adding another person, you would wind up with “Murai and I walked all through the day,” or, alternatively, “We walked all through the day.”

  7. Jiyambi says:

    If I had been drinking soda, it would have come out my nose just now. Knee-high to a turd. *snort*

  8. d7 says:

    Just going to back up Poodle and Linktoreality. Using “someone and I”, which is the subjective form, in the objective position of a phrase is incorrect. It’s a great example of hypercorrection (that is, “trying too hard and getting it wrong”) that’s used all the time in linguistic literature. Googling for “common english grammar mistakes” or something should turn up more support if you like.

    Also? I love how Ursula’s poking fun at Western sensibilities about gender roles in this part.

  9. Rista-liehna says:

    Grim Eyes really has no idea, does she? I can definitely hear sarcasm in that last panel. Even when he’s that annoyed at her, she’s still in “humour the helpless male” mode…

    As for the “Murai and I” thing: it really should be “me.” But that’s forgivable. There are a lot of grammar mistakes beat into the heads of children as the right thing to do. Another common one is the idea that sentences should never end with “and” or “but.” “Don’t end a sentence with a preposition” is an optional rule, and sometimes it’s better to break it. All of this comes straight from one of my university textbooks, though I’m not quoting it.

    Isn’t it great that we can have this kind of conversation here?

  10. WJS says:

    You can sometimes *start* a sentence with a preposition, but I thought the rule against ending with one was still pretty rigid; I certainly can’t think of a legible sentence ending with “and”, anyway.

  11. TekServer says:

    It depends on how you use the “and”.


  12. Lee says:

    Angry Herne in the last panel is FABULOUSLY drawn. There’s something almost heraldic about that pose.

  13. Sildraug says:

    The curve of the neck reminds me of a chess piece. That’s probably it.

  14. StinkyOldBear says:

    The preposition rule is not optional, I believe. And it is not just sentences, it is all clauses that you shouldn’t use a preposition to end with.


  15. glenchild says:

    hmmm, I always understood the rule on not-ending-a-sentence-with-a-preposition as one that is tied to the formality of your writing – write a formal essay or research papel, and you should really should follow it. Write something less formal (creative writing or non-fiction writing for a less formal audience), and it might actually be better to break the preposition rule to avoid more stilted phrasing.

    Actually, that applies to many grammar rules. Including, for example, the tendency to use “they” (more informal, technically incorrect) instead of “he/she” in gender neutral situations. Also, one would be hard-pressed to find very many famous, well-respected authors who gave even a flying-flip about such quaint rules as “thou shall not write run-on sentences.”

  16. jaynee says:

    “…it is all clauses that you shouldn’t use a preposition to end with.” – LOL! You just did!

    Err – “and” is a conjunction, not a preposition, and I was certainly taught that sentences should not be started with a conjuction, or ended with a preposition such as “to” or “with”.

    That would constitute the sort of behaviour up with which I will not put.

  17. Arrkhal says:

    I’ve noticed some other hypercorrections, too, like “sort’ve.” Which decontracts to “sort have.” “Is this guy some sort have deer?” Although English possessives, genitives, and the very fuzzy grammatical distinctions between them, are definitely insane’s sort. :p

    Also, the preposition rule was invented by French people who thought the English language was horrible and annoying and should be more like French. It’s _impossible_ to end a sentence in French with a preposition, so they wanted to impose that on English as well. Despite the fact that English uses a largely Germanic sentence structure. And in most of the Germanic languages (though not modern German itself, IIRC), a preposition is a perfectly fine thing to end a sentence with.

    Unless you desire, deep down in your heart (or liver), to be French, end sentences with prepositions whenever you feel like it.

  18. Snowbody says:

    Is it just me, or do Grim Eyes and Herne have some kind of repressed attraction to each other?

  19. Roach says:

    Arrkhal, in German, ending a sentence with a preposition is fine. ‘Ich seh mir das mal an’ (I’ll have a gander at it) is nice German, nothing to worry about 🙂

    Ye4s, the rule for English was meant to make it more like French / Latin, though it never caught on in everyday speak. That – like ‘never split an infinitive – is a rule to soundly ignore if you make a point by it … or simply ignore in the case of the preposition. The ‘to go boldly where…’ and ‘to boldly go…’ form quite different umpressions on the listener. It’s a matter of ‘know the rules, and then know why you’re breaking them’, IMHO.

  20. JET73L says:

    Oh, good grief, not on my downtime. *laughs* In formal writing, the francophile control freaks are typically correct. In informal speech, the germanic language-slobs allow for a more natural flow of speech for many rules when the users originally learned without the rules, and for some rules it allows for more efficient and understandable communication in all but a few occurences. As Roach said, “know the rules and know why you’re breaking them”. For the record, my reason for breaking most “rules” when writing informally is almost always either laziness or forgetting which sentence I chose to start with (“correcting” established colloquialisms is also something I try to avoid).

    Grim Eyes is [strike]right[/strike] correct (if she means what I think she means), but Herne likely has other concerns that require a less concentrated fire, such as cooking Murai’s food all the way through without burning the outside. He has been a guide to humans for years, and Grim Eyes is looking at it from purely (tool-using) hyena terms.

  21. Brave Horatio says:

    It’s not that “don’t end a sentence with a preposition” is an optional rule – it’s that it is /wrong/. It was invented by John Dryden out of whole cloth in order to make English resemble Latin more. The descriptive facts of English are that when a WH word is embedded under a preposition, there is usually a choice whether the preposition comes along to wherever the WH word is headed or stays behind where it is. There are certain situations where only one of these two options is allowed, but usually it is a matter of stylistic choice, based on, say, the formality of the writing in question.

    The danger of having a so-called rigid rule against ending sentences in prepositions is that there are a lot of things that /look/ like prepositions, but, rather than participating in this movement vs. stranding optionality, enter into a close relationship with the verb. To choose a random example from pop-culture:

    “You’re standing in the biggest library in the universe: Look me up.”

    …mother of moles I hate John Dryden. Oh, and d7 couldn’t be more right about “Murai and I” – but case assignment across conjunctions resembles the gait of a three-legged mine donkey anyway, so “eh.” And it’s a hypercorrection people have been using for ages unto ages. The Christmas Carol “I wonder as I wander” includes the line “like you and like I” which just sets my teeth on edge. Anything/everything else I’m actually pretty cool with.

    All pedantry aside, I love the interaction between Herne and Grim Eyes – especially how she thinks she’s being /nice/ to him. Way to maintain the real world consequences of the cultures you’ve set up!

  22. Sophist says:

    …turds have knees?

  23. Beacon80 says:

    @WJS Just have to point out, “and” is a conjunction, not a preposition.

  24. Tamfang says:

    I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone end a sentence with and or but, but I often hear sentences ending with so – and I don’t mean the adverb, “we have done so; don’t carry on so”. It has become a hesitation word.

    It’s true that in French you can’t end a sentence with a preposition — and yet one legionary in Astérix made habit of it (“…que vous avez parlé avec”).