Use of personal pronouns

Yesterday, CBS Sunday Morning presented a segment on a topic about which Rhonda and I had often commented to one another for several years–misuse of first-person personal pronouns. Many years ago folks used to use ‘me’ when it should have been ‘I’. Apparently there was a great deal of scolding by English teachers to be more accurate. Well, it backfired. What happened is that people all over America, at least, began using ‘I’ in sentences which clearly called for ‘me’.

How many times have your heard someone say something like, “It is best for you and I to go together” or even worse, “Mother made these cookies for Johnny and I to eat.”?

As aptly pointed out on CBS Sunday Morning, “The simple rule is to say the sentence leaving out the other person.” You wouldn’t say, “That is best for ‘I’ to go,” or Mother made these cookies for ‘I’ to eat.”

You would naturally say ‘me’ in these cases. ‘I’ would be proper in sentences like “You and I are both young at heart.”

So next time you think about using ‘I’ think about this rule! Have a great week!



It’s time for another hint…

One week ago today my post indicated that on March first I would be making a big announcement. We’re at the half-way mark and it’s time for another hint. My first entry on this mentioned my book, Most Comprehensive Origins of Proverbs, Cliches and Figurative Expressions. It also was splattered with expressions, some from the book, some not. That was meant to give a bit of a ‘shadow of things to come.’

Now I’ll drop another hint. ‘The best is getting better.’ At least my best. In the first year since the book’s release it has gained a lot of attention from folks of all walks of life. I personally know a lot of doctors who own a copy. Traditionally lawyers, ministers, entrepreneurs and other professionals are among the owners of my writings. This book has been called ‘the best book of its type’ and ‘just what I was looking for’ by people I have never met. That makes me very proud…and thankful. But doing a work like this takes a lot of dedication, time, effort and determination. It doesn’t just ‘fall into place.’

For those who have not yet purchased their copy I will unveil my news a week from today. For those who have, I also have good news. Stay tuned to my blog, and good reading!

Morgan Shepherd is an inspiration to us all

At age 72, Morgan Shepherd is attempting to do something that has never been done before: qualify for the Daytona 500 at that age! But he’s no stranger to challenges and wins. He has numerous trophies under his belt and 19 Nascar wins.

Three years ago, working as a security guard at Walmart, he took a shoplifter down in the parking lot and handcuffed him. He says he runs like he’s 30, and I believe it. He looks like he’s only about 45.

Shepherd, a professed, “born-again Christian,” is a fireball who says he can “whip the average guy’s butt!” I wouldn’t get in his way. My best and a hearty salute to Morgan Shepherd.

Another African American teen shot in Florida in “self defense”

After the George Zimmerman verdict in the Trayvon Martin shooting was ‘not guilty’ there was a large outcry from those who felt that it was unfair. Understandably so; but my objection was that it was said to be racially motivated, with which I disagreed. Also, there seemed to have been a genuine belief that his life was in danger. Then Zimmerman seemed to go on a rampage of getting in the media’s ever-watchful eye. Not so smart!

Now another Florida teen has been senselessly killed using Florida’s self-defense law. Bastante! Enough, already! But does this case mirror the Zimmerman-Martin case? No. However, I believe both juries got it right.

In the case of Michael Dunn, he was upset over loud music coming from a car. He claimed that he saw a gun, which never was found. Though there was no specific target, Jordan Davis is dead before his 19th birthday. Dunn’s over-confidence may have been due to the Zimmerman verdict. Nevertheless, he overstepped the boundaries of the law.

The jury failed to convict on first-degree murder, likely because he shot at random, and may not have thought it out beforehand. He was, however, convicted of attempted murder. Way to go, jury! Don’t let men think they can get away with bursts of uncontrolled violence.


A major announcement is close

Rhonda and I had a wonderful Valentine’s Day with dinner and a movie and time together. These special occasions form memories to keep us aware of the truly important things in life.

March 6th will be the first anniversary of the release of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions. I have been so pleased and thankful that this book could make a difference in so many people’s lives and garner such touching praise. I want to take this opportunity to thank all who have been so kind.

Just because this effort has been so successful, I didn’t want to be found ‘resting on my laurels,’ ‘if you get my drift.’ I have ‘all my ducks in a row’ for a major announcement exactly two weeks from today, on March 1st. I don’t want to be guilty of ‘a failure to communicate’ and I expect this to come off ‘without a hitch.’ That’s why I’m not waiting till ‘pigs fly’ to relate the good news. ‘Any way you slice it’ the results will be a ‘win-win’ for all concerned.

Keep reading my blog and you’ll be ‘in the know.’

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

Last evening as Rhonda and I were en route to a club meeting, her cell rang. It was our grandson, Alex, telling her that he had won a county-wide MLK Day short writing contest. All of the fourth and fifth graders in our county–quite a few schools–were asked to complete the following “I have a dream…” Alex in in the fourth grade.

Alex’s composition went pretty much like this:

I have a dream that everyone will be well, everyone will treat each other with respect, and everyone will feel good about themselves.

Of course, Rhonda told him how proud she was of him. I told Rhonda I wanted to speak with Alex when he was through speaking with her.

“I’m really proud of you, too, Alex,” I said. “‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.’  Do you know what that means?”

“No,” he said softly.

“It’s one of the phrases in my big cliche book. It means that children usually are able to do things like their other family members. Since I’m a writer, I’m really glad you enjoy writing, too.” I went on to talk to him about his abilities and how he could do anything he wanted to do.

Encouraging our children and grandchildren will help to mold their future. Don’t miss a chance to give positive feedback to your kids. It can make a world of difference in their future.

A wonderful weekend

Rhonda and I celebrated our nineteenth anniversary this past weekend, and did so with a very memorable trip. We spent Friday and Saturday at Embassy Suites in  Lexington, Kentucky at a Conference. I was able to promote my best-selling book there and made contact with a gentleman whom I knew previously who has a family member who is a writer and may be publishing with me. This place was beautiful and gracious and we attended a lavish banquet on Friday night.

Saturday afternoon we drove down to Renfro Valley, home of the famous Barn Dance and Country Music Show which has been broadcast throughout the past several decades. There we spent the night at the Heritage Inn and Suites where the Country music stars stay. The wall of the office is jammed with framed and signed photos of dozens of them including Loretta Lynn, John Conlee, Jo Dee Messina  and lots more. This year they will be hosting such favorites as Ronny Millsap, Aaron Tippin and Lee Greenwood.

In March I will be doing an update of the paperback version of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions in which Renfro Valley will be mentioned.


Birds of a feather flock together

Today is so beautiful in our ‘neck of the woods’ that one would hardly realize that we have been having a harsh winter. During the past few weeks our ‘fine feathered friends’ have been on the lookout for any place to find food and water. We have bird feeders hanging from the roof of the carport at the rear of our home. We have spotted some unusual varieties of birds in the past couple of weeks with which we were unfamiliar, so Rhonda and I took to the Internet to identify them. The first one was a fashionably clad male with a purple tuft on his head and black and brown stripes on his back. He turned out to be an American Kestrel, a small breed of Falcon. What a beauty! Then the other day as I was leaving to visit a club in another city, at the top of the hill, leaving our subdivision, I spied a gorgeous large red-necked hawk in a tree by a pond across the highway at the base of the mountain.

“Birds of a feather flock together” is a saying that has been with us since the mid-seventeenth century, and may be found on page 61 of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs, and Figurative Expressions. Find it on Amazon worldwide. Multitudes have already

But this was true in a literal sense long before it was used metaphorically. And I have been fascinated with birds since childhood. Nature is a beautiful reminder of the presence of the Deity all about us!