How You Can Help
If just a few dedicated people put their minds to it, the subjunctive can be saved. People are killing the subjunctive because they don't know it's there, not because they hate it. You can change that by taking some or all of the following actions:
- Correct your friends in casual conversation (it's easy and it's fun!). Here's an example:
Arnold: If I was you, I'd watch what you say to me. You're one step away from getting the beat-down of your life.
Joe: I think you meant to say, "If I were you." Don't participate in the death of the subjunctive, Arnold.
- Set an example! Change the way you talk so that you use the subjunctive mood all the time. Your friends will notice and want to try it for themselves. For instance, instead of saying,
My God, Charlene, I'm so sorry to hear that your mother has just died. I hope that the upcoming funeral gives you a sense of closure. If there's anything I can do, please let me know.
My God, Charlene, if it were the case that your mother had just died (which it is), I would be so sorry (which I am). I insist that the upcoming funeral give you a sense of closure. Should it turn out that there is anything I can do, I demand that you let me know!
- Take action into your own hands. Click here to contact the ETS, which is the company responsible for the SATs, the GREs, and other popular devices for belittling and demoralizing intelligent young people. Ask that they impose strong penalties for children who misuse (or fail to use) the subjunctive. Let's keep the mood-killers out of our elite institutions!
- Spread the word! Copy and paste the following code to put one of our "Killing the Mood" banners onto your MySpace page, blog, or other personal website:
Stop the slaughter. Visit lovefromjack.com