James Franco’s Grammar Faux Pas

Just heard James Franco on NPR’s Fresh Air talking about his role in Howl and how he had read a lot of Ginsberg even before the film.

Verbatim, emphasis mine:  “There’s a certain age when young people—young men get into the Beats. At least me and my friends, I and my friends, certainly did. In fact, I’m taking this class right now at Yale and we’re reading the Beats….”

Um, take a third try, Yalie (and, regrettably, Columbia alum). Need I mention, he’s an English PhD candidate?


8 thoughts on “James Franco’s Grammar Faux Pas

  1. Seems Strunk and White never said anything on the subject, so you must debate the matter with other sources. From Grammar Girl, copied from this site: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/between-me-and-you.aspx

    “Just remember your manners and put “I” last, because according to the American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style, “All pronouns except ‘I’ normally come before the noun in these compound subjects” (2). So it would be correct to say, “She and Bob climbed the steps” or “Bob and I climbed the steps.” You would never say, “I and Bob climbed the steps.”

    Don’t have a copy of the American Heritage Guide, so I can’t check her reference, but I know that in 6th grade I was taught to put myself last in any multiple subject, and that rule has served me well with editors ever since…

  2. Hi Gabe. On second thought, I guess “normally” in Grammar Girl’s statement would qualify James’s statement as “non-standard”…so technically, you’re right. Although regardless, it reflects poorly on dear James. Grammar faux pas or not, it’s just arrogant. And unless there’s a specific need, and here there isn’t, non-standard translates to “lack of standard knowledge” in my book.

  3. Grammar faux pas aside, is anyone else offended by his correction that only young males get into the Beats? Lots of young women — particularly teens and college students — have a Beat phase too. (I certainly did.)

  4. But Raquel, if he doesn’t put his friends before himself in his highly self-conscious grammar correction, how can we expect him to consider women at all? He’s obviously the being that counts the most, and women? They’re practically a different species!

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