Saturday, October 17, 2009

Only Read This If You Want A Grammar Rant About Top Chef’s Michael Voltaggio

Did you see this interview with grammatically challenged Top Chef contestant Michael Voltaggio? It was interesting. He says his brother is the better CHEF – in terms of commanding the troops in a restaurant, and HE is the better COOK – with more imaginative ideas.

But he continues his grammatical hyper-correcting. Yes, there’s a technical term for his bad English and I just wish he’d cut it out. Maybe he should start here.

What’s his huge misdemeanor? He doesn’t know that he should use “I” when it’s the subject of the sentence and “ME” when it’s the object. It’s kind of simple and not all that hard to remember. The reason it’s so annoying is that he’s constantly comparing himself to his brother, so there’s a lot of between him and I’s getting thrown around.

Michael says, “At the end of the day we want it to be about food and cooking.” He wouldn’t say,“US want it to be about food and cooking”. He goes on, “It’s naturally going to seem like it’s going to be…about Bryan and I…” Ugh! At least the guy can cook.


Shays’ Rebel said...

That’s also my pet peeve.

Now, I read this once: “I think each and every one of you is beautiful in a special way because you are you.” Is that right? Each IS beautiful… everyone IS beautiful… Does the “AND” make it “ARE beautiful” or “IS beautiful?” (I lean toward “are,” but I don’t really know.)

I also have a pet peeve with “between him and myself” but not so much.

Then there’s Shays’ Rebellion, led by Daniel Shays in 1786 – should that be Shays’s Rebellion? I see it written in different forms.

What does this have to do with foodish things, you might ask? Well, have you ever seen Mrs. Thomas Jefferson’s recipe for macaroni and cheese? “Take a cup of milk, warm from the cow.” That’s why I’ve never cooked a good mac and cheese.

My downfall is passive sentences! (Should that be “My downfall ARE passive sentences”?)

Sue said...

I can't believe I'm admitting this, but, even though my husband calls me the comma queen (because I love the readability they give to a sentence), I AM not infallible. I still like to say I feel badly. I know it's wrong, but I think it sounds as if one is more sympathetic to whatever it is than just feeling bad.

YES, you are right about each person IS beautiful, but so many people get that wrong that I think the grammar police actually gave up. I think it should be Shays's Rebellion, but my American History knowledge stinks. I found this:
Some writers will say that the -s after Charles' is not necessary and that adding only the apostrophe (Charles' car) will suffice to show possession. Consistency is the key here: if you choose not to add the -s after a noun that already ends in s, do so consistently throughout your text. William Strunk's Elements of Style recommends adding the 's. (In fact, oddly enough, it's Rule Number One in Strunk's "Elementary Rules of Usage.") You will find that some nouns, especially proper nouns, especially when there are other -s and -z sounds involved, turn into clumsy beasts when you add another s: "That's old Mrs. Chambers's estate." In that case, you're better off with "Mrs. Chambers' estate."

Funny about the mac and cheese.

Downfall is the subject of your sentence and so the verb should be singular - "My downfall IS...". Maybe that's not the reason, but as they say about porn...I just know it when I hear it.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I missed yet another episode. Am I giving up on it?

I was a bit angry when Michael said something like, "My brother, Michael, and myself" are the best chefs here (well, I think those were the ones he mentioned). I REALLY hate it when people misuse myself. It doesn't make sense, but people say it anyway because for some reason they are afraid to use me!

Sue said...

Don't miss Restaurant Wars!

Michael obviously has a ME phobia, which is funny when he's kind of so full of himself.