Jessy’s Grammar

You feeling irony deficient? Check out this post on kami.com.ph and you’ll get a mega-dose of irony that’ll probably last you until well into November. Entitled “Jessy Mendiola wrong grammar in Star Magic Ball interview goes viral,” the post is, itself, a mess of errors, grammatical and otherwise. And I’m not even counting the construction of the title.

Error No. 1: How to use prepositions on a sentence.

Netizens cringed on Jessy Mendiola’s answer in an interview at the recent Star Magic Ball. The actress’ response to boyfriend Luis Manzano’s statement is incoherent.

No, netizens didn’t cringe ON Jessy’s answer, they cringed AT it. Jessy Mendiola’s answer wasn’t a surface for any action to take place ON, but it was something that elicited a reaction directed towards it, therefore the use of the preposition AT.

Error No. 2: Just because you don’t get it, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Luis commented that this year’s Star Magic Ball was attended by gorgeous men and women, but complimented his rumoured girlfriend Jessy Mendiola to be the most beautiful among attendees. In verbatim, the interview went:

Luis: I am claiming that I have the most beautiful date this evening.

Jessy: What am I say to that? 

“What am I to say to that,” is grammatically faultless. Stylistically, it could have been made easier to understand if Jessy had instead said “What am I SUPPOSED to say to that?” However, the omission of the word “supposed” makes for a more economical construction without losing any of the meaning – well, maybe except for those who don’t speak English quite as idiomatically as Jessy seems to do.

Error No. 3: Nakaka-tense.

Just when you thought that the interview cannot get any worse, the reporter Sarah Meier said that this year’s theme is “Black and White,” but noticed the couple’s red accents on their clothing. Luis explained, “We don’t live by the rules. We’re rebels. Let’s put a bit of red.

This is a two in one error. First, and please don’t ask me why, the use of the word “cannot” in the first sentence is inappropriate. A good editor worth her salt would have replaced that with “could.” I am an anglophone so I can’t explain why the original construction is wrong, but I think it has something to do with the proper use of tenses and the fact that the action being described took place in the past, and “can not” properly applies to actions to be taken in the future. There’s a technical grammatical term for that, but heck if I know what that is.

In similar fashion, “… this year’s theme IS black and white …” should have taken a WAS, since the subject matter being referred to happened in the past. Again, please don’t expect a technical breakdown.

The second error is in the implication that Luis Manzano’s response was wrong. Hardly. Event themes are typically not ironclad dress codes. They simply indicate the over-arching flavour of the event, intended by the organizers. In this case, it’s a pretty safe bet that the theme “Black and White” was intended to evoke the classic look of elegance associated with these two stark colors. Thus, sartorially speaking, guests are expected to make Black and White central to their attire choices. As explained by Luis Manzano, the “bit of red” was clearly intended to accentuate their predominantly black and white outfits. A small act of rebelliousness to show that they were refusing to disappear into the background without a flash of fiery defiance. Sure, it’s corny, but there’s nothing wrong with it otherwise.

Error No. 4: Turn around, bright eyes.

However, the conversation went to a weird turn Jessy revealed the color of Luis’ underwear is also red. Sarah jokingly said that she did not want to go to that area and will leave that to Jessy’s judgment, to which Luis can only flash a fake smile.

Alright. I wouldn’t call this a grammatical error since it is more of an idiomatic faux pas. To put it very simply, the “conversation TOOK a weird turn,” is more idiomatically correct than to say that it “WENT to a weird turn.” Again, this has something to do with tenses I think.

There’s other things to nitpick about this paragraph too: a missing “WHEN” between the words “turn” and “Jessy;” that the color of Luis’ underwear “WAS (not is) also red;” the awkward and stilted use of the word “AREA;” how Sarah Meier – herself an exemplary editor, btw – “WOULD (not will) leave” the color of Luis’ underwear to Jessy; and “to which Luis “COULD (not can) only flash a fake smile.”

I could also take issue with the general tone of the paragraph. Clearly, the article’s author wanted to highlight the awkwardness of Jessy’s statement by pointing out Sarah’s response and Luis’ “fake smile.” What makes this objectionable is that the author is trying here to impose her own sense of propriety – and thus her own distaste for Jessy’s overshare – instead of reporting what seems like nothing more than casual banter. Of course, I wasn’t there so maybe her reporting of the tone of the encounter is perfectly accurate, but given the context of the conversation, I sincerely doubt it. Sarah Meier, for instance, is not known to be so prudish that she would react adversely to the color of underwear.

Error No. 5: Nakaka-tense, part two, and gender bending Ate Vi

While the two has not officially confirmed that they are an item, rumor has it that Luis’ mother Star for all Seasons Vilma Santos-Recto is not in favour of Jessy. The actress-turned-politician wanted his son to end up with Angel Locsin.

Locsin was not present at the event. Her first and last appearance in Star Magic Ball was in 2009 with Luis.

Obviously “the two HAVE (not has) officially confirmed” their relationship status; and last I looked Ate Vi definitely identified as female, so she would have “wanted HER (not his) son to end up) with someone else. Incidentally,the someone else’s first and last appearance “AT THE (not in) Star Magic Ball) was in 2009. Unless of course the Star Magic Ball is an actual place, not an event, that one can physically be inside of.

Pot Meet Kettle

The pot calling the kettle black doesn’t even begin to describe this article. For one thing, that old adage presupposes that the pot itself is sooty. In this case, however, the grammatically and idiomatically flawed article takes potshots at a grammatically sound statement, and seemingly misreads the idiomatic context of light banter among celebrities. So labelling this as a case of the pot calling the kettle black isn’t accurate at all; to be perfectly honest, it’s actually more an instance of the little brown maya bird calling a peacock ugly.

 

 

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