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Mirror Mailbox: Readers Tell Me I Need Help With My Grammar And Alleged Potty Mouth

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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Some readers are kind when they write in and offer advice on how to fix my supposedly poor grammar.

Others are, well, unpleasant.

My post on Politico Playbook co-writer Jake Sherman‘s chest hair hit a grammatical nerve this week.

And my story on CNN’s hit show “Reliable Sources” on Sunday also attracted the wrath of some readers who didn’t care for my use of the f-word. Technically I used two bad words — in one instance, I wrote “fucking”; the other was “ass.”

I appreciate anyone who takes time to read my work — even if it disturbs them.

So thank you to the readers who wrote in to give me a piece of their minds. I will try harder in the future to not f–k things up and to watch my mouth. But honestly, I likely won’t watch my mouth.

Togeros wrote me a note with the subject line “PRONOUN.”

“If you are going to portray yourself as a journalist… PLEASE take the time to educate yourself about pronouns. It’s not rocket science. It isn’t even HIGH SCHOOL level English. The moment came after Sherman joked about he and HuffPost writer Sam Stein going on tour together. In the D.C. bubble, Sherman is a well-known fan of the band Phish. All you have to do when writing compound subjects to determine the correct pronoun is remove the second subject. NOW read your sentence and see how ignorant your writing sounds. Then give Sherman a ‘little learning’ as well. SHERMAN: Yeah, I’m supportive of Sam and I going on a worldwide Rock n’ Roll tour. That’s also not going to happen. We are a society of ill-educated ‘professionals’.”

Another reader, Martha Galphin, wrote in about the same issue concerning the grammar in the story about Sherman’s chest hair. Truth be told, I think Galphin’s advice kind of blows. She’s also the Queen of Mean (in a good way, of course).

Her subject line: “Watch your grammar please: your profession is journalism.”

I received that nastygram while lounging at the pool on the 4th of July. It was nothing if not a mood booster.

She pointed to this sentence: “The moment came after Sherman joked about he and HuffPost writer Sam Stein going on tour together.”

“Corrected: joked about him
Even better = joked about HuffPost writer Sam Stein and he going on tour together.

OR: joked about HuffPost writer Sam Stein and his going on tour together.”

The ‘about he’ error really stood out.

Thank you. 

Next up: BB wrote, “Hello Betsy, I don’t understand why you would use vulgarities to express your art.”

A Washington writer cracked on me for that one, saying, “The Daily Caller.. a place to express your art.”

I reminded BB that The Mirror has a NC17 warning label.

A man named Tim Lewis wrote me an email bearing this subject line: “Daily Caller Article.”

He wrote, “Re: We Watched CNN’s Reliable Sources So You Don’t Have To — I agree 100% with what you write but why is the coarse language — especially the f bombs — necessary?”

Any and all commentary is welcome. My email address is: if you feel like writing to The Mirror.