25 February 2013
Dent’s Disastrous Pronouns
Stewart Pidd Hates English contains the following information about pronouns: Pronouns function as replacement words for noun phrases and nouns. Three common types of pronouns that give writers trouble are indefinite pronouns, possessive pronouns, and personal pronouns. Pronouns have different functions. Pronouns that do not refer to an object or a particular person are indefinite pronouns; possessive pronouns show possession; personal pronouns replace an object or a specific person. Writers can use pronouns to prevent unneeded repetition. An antecedent is the noun that comes before or after the pronoun(s) that reference it (Pollitt and Baker 70-85). Faulty pronoun agreement is a common writing error. In “Go Big or Go Home,” Jimmy Dent fails to make his pronouns agree with their antecedents. Dent makes a pronoun/antecedent agreement error. He writes, “I was out front working on my old motorcycle and said, ‘Hey, Stewie, when a skater dude goes to Ludville Pipe, they need to go big or go home’”(1). The singular antecedent, “skater dude” does not agree with the plural pronoun “they.” To fix the sentence, Dent needs to change the singular antecedent “skater dude” to a plural antecedent “skater dudes.” The revised sentence will read, “I was out front working on my old motorcycle and said, ‘Hey, Stewie, when skater dudes go to Ludville Pipe, they need to go big or go home.’” Dent makes a pronoun/antecedent agreement error with an indefinite pronoun. He states, “‘Stewart Pidd!’ I yelled, through the rusty spokes or my front rim, ‘Nobody wants to put their relatives in a home’” (2). The singular antecedent “Nobody” does not agree with the plural possessive pronoun “their.” To fix the sentence, Dent needs to change the singular indefinite pronoun “Nobody” to a plural pronoun “In-laws.” The revised sentence will read, “‘Stewart Pidd!’ I yelled, through the rusty spokes or my...