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'I, me, my' ... how many this time Red?Posted Friday, January 9, 2009, at 2:57 PM
By way of definition and to help with understanding what I am writing about, let me start by giving you a couple of definitions from my Webster's Dictionary.
"I" is a first person singular pronoun that is used by a speaker to describe him or herself.
"Me" is a first person singular pronoun that is used to refer to himself or herself as the object of a verb or a preposition.
"My" is a possessive adjective belonging to or associated with the speaker.
For years now my good buddy -- "Mr. Welcome to Bloomfield" himself, Col. Marcus "Red" Oliphant, has been reminding area journalists -- like me -- about what he terms as his "I-me-my" violations in their writings.
Over the last couple of decades Red has sent me a couple of his well-intentioned reminders that I use way too many of the "I-me-my" expressions in my writings.
I recently received an envelope from Red in my mailbox that contained a copy of my column from last week that had 55 of Red's violations that were each circled in blue ink for my inspection.
On an enclosed post card that featured a photo of Red's famed Hilltop homestead on South Seminary Street in Bloomfield the Colonel wished me a Happy New Year and good luck with my list of New Year resolutions after he reminded me that I had committed "only" 55 violations.
In my defense, which probably doesn't mean a darn thing to a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and a jet fighter pilot, the column was about "MY" new year resolutions, so I really don't know how I could have reduced the number of "I's" that I penned in my column.
I believe I had a story sent to me by Red in the 60 violation range a couple years ago, but I am still striving to catch up with my friend and former Bloomington Herald-Times sports editor, Bob Hammel, who was once charged with 77 violations by Red.
Well, if I ever approach Bob's writing prowess or abilities I would be elated.
He's a guy who in 30 years at Bloomington, was named 16 times as Indiana Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and was four times named winner of the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters' Corky Lamm award. In 1990, he was selected to the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame. In 1995, he received the coveted Curt Gowdy Award from the National Basketball Hall of Fame. And in 1996, he received the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame's Silver Medal Award for distinguished service. He has also been awarded the Bert McGrane Award by the College Football Hall of Fame and the Jake Wade Award by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Red that's not too bad for a guy with 77 "I-me-my" violations.
Anyway, I appreciate the periodic reminders from my good friend Red, who termed himself a "nitpicker" in his latest correspondence that was sent to me. Well, I can't argue too much with that assessment, but I know Red doesn't mean any harm in his good-humored violation tallies that are mailed to me and my journalistic colleagues.
So Red the next time you want to zinger me with your "I-me-my" violations, go right ahead because I really don't mind being reminded about my writing shortcomings in your view. I really don't care how many "I, me or my's" you point out to me. You are still a good friend to me and I am waiting for your next ink splattered critique of my column to be mailed to me.
And, Red as a reminder from me to you, my column today contains more than a bunch of the "I - me - my" violations. I set out to top the record set by Bob Hammel, and it looks like I beat his record by a couple of I's me's and my's.
Now, who is the king of the "I's, me's and my's" ?
And, just so you know my column today contains 81 of the "I's, me's and my's".
Have a great day, because I am.
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