It’s Saturday morning. I was up late last night covering the A’s opener. I’m drinking my coffee and I’m reading a story on espn.com about Gregg Williams and that infamous tape shot by filmmaker Sean Pamphilon. Don’t worry, this is not another comment on Williams. It’s about grammar and how it is being mauled.
The article does not have a byline. It is attrituted to ESPN.com news services. So I don’t know who wrote it. Here’s the offending sentence: “Pamphilon told Yahoo! Sports on Friday he did not violate a contractual agreement between he and Gleason.”
Before I go into that wretched sentence, please identify for yourself the grammatical sin it contains. Sure, you know what it is. Hey, I learned this stuff from Miss Hardy in my 6th grade class at PS 193, Brooklyn.
As you doubtless know, “between” is a preposition and it takes the object “him.” The end of the sentence should read “between him and Gleason.”
It troubles me that the writer — a writer, for heaven’s sake — does not know about prepositions. And it troubles me that whoever (not “whomever”) edited the story doesn’t know, either.
You may think this is no big deal. I think it’s a very big deal when writers and editors don’t know grammar, when society is dumbed down and doesn’t even care.