Yesterday I called my sister to wish her a happy birthday. In the conversation I said something like,” I’d like to talk about gerunds.” Her response was immediate and enthusiastic, loosely quoted, “It makes me furious.” There was no need to explain my intention. So when did it become correct to say “”I appreciate you coming with me,” instead of “I appreciate your coming with me?” Obviously it’s now acceptable, but when did it happen? My sister, the former teacher and MFA, can explain in detail the new relationship. As she pointed out, we learned the gerund rule way back in grammar school but we have to accept that language usage changes, even though it causes ear pain. I for one, though, expect to continue saying, “I appreciate your coming.”

But then, what does it really matter when the cover of the “Intelligence Report” from the Southern Poverty Law Center says “The Year in Hate and Extremism: The ‘Patriot’ Movement Explodes” and spells out in the interior contents the details of growing racism, hate, and consequent violence.

In the same reading session, however, I found an article in “Yes” magazine where Frances Moore Lappe says “A new way of seeing that is opening up to us can form a more life-saving mental map. I call it ‘eco-mind’ — looking at the world through the lens of ecology. This worldview recognizes that we, no less than any other organism, live in relation to everything else.” Gong on, she elaborates six inherent traits we can foster, once we learn to navigate the world with the map of eco-mind.

1)    Cooperation

2)    Empathy

3)    Fairness

4)    Efficacy

5)    Meaning

6)    Imagination, Creativity, and attraction to change.

Pages 12-15, Yes” Spring 2012.

I want to believe those traits will overcome hate. But then, I didn’t say I expect they will.


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  1. I liker this lots. Frances Moore Lappe is very wise and a great writer. Her list reminds me of the human needs framework of the Chilean philosopher-economist Manfred Max-Neef. Moore’s and Max-Neef’s traits bring us to a very different way of being human than the prevailing understanding of what human fulfillment requires. Thank you for sharing. So…forget about the gerunds, I guess, and pay attention to the big stuff?

  2. Mona, I don’t expect it will either. Maybe we really make these lists because they seem to allow us to believe that we really DID something now to overcome hate.
    To changes in language: it REALLY upsets me too, and gives me BIG ear-pain.
    Some or the scariest changes in Norwegian is an overall change in the accentuation of syllables. It used to be pronounces “masculeeene” and now it is “MASculine” – as in English. Norway has a peculiar way of toneme: ex “bønner” and “bønder.” The first one means “beans” and the second “peasants.” – and the only thing that is different, is how we go up in the tone in “bønner” and down in tone in “bønner.
    I think Japanese has the something similar.
    Now even news-reporters in radio and TV pronounce words with the wrong toneme. It has become a rule – but I haven’t seen it explained anywhere: it just takes over – and I sweat when i write about it: my language in its richness is becoming deflated.
    Lots of identity in ln language, isn’t it. No wonder we feel pain about it –
    Me, not only in the ears.

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