The Joys of Good Grammar

The joys of good grammar include clearer communication, but also include the “joy” of sometimes making an otherwise enjoyable set of lyrics grating to the ear. *heh* For example, John Jacob Niles should be retroactively slapped upside the head for,

I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die.
For poor on’ry people like you and like I…
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.

No, “like you and like I” has the pronouns in the objective case position, not subjective case. The often made lame excuse of adding a mental “are” is no better than correcting it to “like you and like me.” In fact, it’s worse, apart from “like you and like me” ruining Niles’s rhyme scheme.

It’s unfortunate that Niles died in 1980, because he really deserves a dope slap for this abomination. I’d offer remediation for this stanza, but then I’d have to fix the rhyme schemes of the other two verses to match, and I’m not quite sure it’d be worth the effort. Of course, that would afford the opportunity to fix the really awkward last line in the second stanza. . .

Nah. I’ll just pass on the whole thing.

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