Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Torn

I love Bon Jovi. I'm past the point of feeling embarrassed, ashamed, and even overly proud. I am at the point where I just accept it as part of who I am. I think they are one of the greatest bands of all time. So, there's that.

On the other hand, I love grammar. Seriously. I was an English major, and I love the satisfaction of finding incorrectly placed apostrophes on restaurant menus or misused pronouns in medical literature at the dentist's office.

So, when I hear Jon Bon Jovi sing the words, "I wish I was him; Wish those words were mine," I can't help but sing along, "I wish I were he; Wish those words were mine."

(The subjunctive tense is needed to express a hypothetical, and "he" is needed because a subject pronoun should follow the verb to be.)

It hurts me to change JBJ's lyrics, but I can't help myself. To hear it the other way makes me cringe. I'm sorry, Jon. Please forgive me.

And when I find the boy who cares about the subjunctive tense as much as I do, I will marry him.

6 comments:

Justin said...

Shouldn't it be the subjunctive mood, not the subjunctive tense? I think there are only two real tenses in English: past and nonpast.

I'm trying to start an argument with you, dammit! :)

Wylie said...

I thought the pronoun ("him") remains the same--"I wish I were him", rather than "I wish I were he". I could totally be wrong, but it's my life, and it's now or never. I ain't gonna live forever.

As an aside, the title of your post happens to share it's name with a great song from the late nineties by Australian pop sensation Natalie Embrugligiaighaghllgalia. Fantastic.

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin said...

No, I know it should be "he". "How do I know?" you ask. Because my mom used to make me say, "This is he", when I answered the phone and they asked to speak to Justin.

Chris said...

If I were a psychiatrist, I'd say that there's a masochistic side to your love of grammar. Between JBJ and Snow Patrol, how can you stand it?

Ramiro-san said...

wait ur supposed to be a comedian?