In this episode, we do a quick copy tip on grammar.
- The inspiration for this grammar tip [1:35]
- Are you smarter than a high schooler? Pop quiz [2:30]
- The two rules to using this grammar tip [3:40]
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1: #4 – “He and I ate the taco”
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(Let me know if you see any errors so I can fix them up!)
|Intro:||Welcome to Copy That Pops, the only podcast that goes deep into the psychology and strategies behind getting more traffic, more conversions, and more sales from your digital copy and marketing efforts. Join Laura and her guests as they share actionable advice, step-by-step strategies, and psychological research to help you earn more with your online business than ever before. Here’s your host, Laura Petersen.|
|Laura Petersen:||Hey, everybody. Thanks so much for joining us on Copy That Pops. How are you doing today?
I, myself, just got back from New York City and Boston over a long Labor Day Weekend, where I was so excited I got to meet Victor Adefuye, who was a guest on episode 23.
I got to meet Gregg, Podtent Marketing‘s lead podcast producer, who does an amazing job for this show and all of our clients’ shows, and I also got to see one of my best buddies since childhood, Laura Eidlitz, who is very close to finishing her PhD in Psychology, so we got to talk a lot about psychology. It was super fun. I had an amazing time, and I can’t wait to go back and visit them all again.
|Today’s episode, I wanted to ask, how are you liking the quick copy tips? It’s a little bit of a change-up from a lot of the interviews that I’m doing, and many people are really liking the short format, so in that vein, I wanted to do another quick copy tip, and this one focuses a bit more on grammar.
It’s called the “Me Ate the Food” edition.
|Back when I used to teach Algebra II Honors at a high school in Chandler, Arizona, one day, after hearing a lot of students use this rule that we’re going to talk about incorrectly, it was kind of driving me crazy, because for me, it’s like nails on a chalkboard. I’m a bit of a grammar nerd.
So after hearing students use this incorrectly all the time, I thought, okay, as a little warm-up, I’m going to put up a quick pop quiz on the board about this rule and see how students perform. I gave them eight options and I asked them to pick all that apply, all that are correct, and see how they performed.
Out of 30 students, only two students got the answer correct, and this is honors kids in a tough math course, but they almost all got it wrong.
|So I wanted to propose the same pop quiz to you and see how you do. Let’s test your skills. Are you smarter than a high-schooler?
All right, so I’m going to read you eight options. They’re very short, but I want you to pick all that apply that are written correctly grammatically. Okay.
Number one, “Him and me ate the taco.”
All right, so one through eight, which of the following are correct and are okay to say?
|It turns out that number four is the only one that’s correct: “He and I ate the taco.”
So if you got it right, good job. You are smarter than a high-schooler! 🙂
Now, if you didn’t get it right, no worries. I’m going to break down the two rules that govern how to get this correct, and let me tell you, you hear it incorrectly all around you all the time. I hear it wrong on movies, in songs, on the news, from other teachers when I used to teach, so it’s something that is an error quite a lot but really, in my opinion, should be getting it right, so we’ll break it down today.
|All right, so how do we know which version to use?
The first rule is to eliminate the second person and test it. Would you say, “I ate the taco”? Yes. Would you say, “Me ate the taco”? No. So we know we have to use “I” when it comes down to “I” versus “me.” We have to use “I” in this case.
How about, “He ate the taco”? Yup. Sounds good. “Him ate the taco”? No, so we know we have to use “he.” So now we have to say, “I and he ate the taco,” or, “He and I ate the taco,” and that brings us to rule number two, which is be polite and always put the other person first.
So you would say, “He and I ate the taco.” Both “he” and the “I” stand alone grammatically and make perfect sense, and you put the other person first before yourself, so put “he” first and you’ve got it.
|Okay, so let’s test your skills. Is the following sentence correct or incorrect?
“The business coach gave the book to her and I.” Is that correct or incorrect? “The business coach gave the book to her and I.”
Answer is “errr!”, incorrect.
Let’s break that down. In this case, the book is being given to us. “To” is a preposition, so it actually knocks whatever falls after it into a second position. It’s no longer the subject of the sentence. It’s the object in the sentence.
So, “The business coach gave the book to her.” That makes sense.
How about, “He gave it to I”? No. That doesn’t make sense. It’s “to me.”
We always put the other person first, so “her” is correct in form and in position. But “I” we need to change to “me.” So watch out for those prepositions. It knocks people out of the subject for the sentence, and then we have to use “her,” “him,” “me,” and so forth.
|All right, one last little test. So, you might not know, but Taylor Swift called me last night about a party, and she wants me to attend it with her.
So, “____ and ____ will go together in a limo at 8pm.” Whoo!
So I want you to tweet me your answer @Lsp_s, and I might even give you a shout-out on a future show if you get it right. So, “____ and ____ will go together in a limo at 8pm,” and if you want to check the correct answer to see how you’re doing, then go to the show notes at copythatpops.com/027.
|All right. That’s it for this edition of Copy That Pops. Remember you can always text the word “NETWORK” to 44222 to join our weekly email send-out of copy tips, just like the one you heard today, and in past episodes like number 19, 22, and 25, and if you text “network” to 44222, I’ll also send you an email right away with a link back to the show notes at copythatpops.com, so it’s right in your email if you’re maybe running or driving or something like that and can’t jump on a computer right now.
Well, thanks so much for tuning in today, and remember to keep finding copy that pops.
|Outro:||Thanks for listening. To learn more and find additional resources, visit www.copythatpops.com. Please subscribe, rate, and review if you’re enjoying the show, and we’ll see you next time.|