“How do you show someone you love them?”
I‘ll answer, as we do, with a question:
Am I the only surviving English speaker on the planet? Am I really all alone in reading this and immediately seeing the following scene as the intention of the speaker:
Walking at night down a remote path in the woods with ‘someone’, (a second human of unspecified gender), we round a corner and spot an unearthly saucer-shaped spacecraft, steam still rising from its hot landing pods, and we are stunned, both of us, to see a row of confused but orderly alien creatures standing assembled outside the silver ship. I say to my friend “Yippie, I just love aliens!”
“No you don’t”, my friend challenges me. “Surely you realize, it’s ‘Us’ against ‘Them’ now.” But, filled with universal love, I know that I’ve spoken the truth. I suppose I shall need to prove it to my friend though, and I devote several precious seconds to asking myself: “How do you show someone you love ‘Them’?” He or she could possibly watch as I walk non-threateningly over to the gaggle of ETs and embrace them. This would be simple in principle, but carries a risk of being eaten, dismembered, or even forcibly converted to some bizarre galactic religion. No, I finally decide, I will instead dedicate my life to working toward proper pronoun agreement in spoken English, thus creating for my alien visitors a more respectable, hospitable tourist destination.
My father, bless his memory, was an English teacher for a few years after the War, until he remembered that cows give more milk, and generally do it grammatically at that. He may have sincerely believed in an afterlife. Wherever he is, should he overhear a question as gruesomely mis-phrased as this one, I’m sure he would promptly ask to be transfered to ‘the other place’.
I have just tried to toss another ‘Featured Word-Salad’. God help us all.