Rules Carved in Stone, or Not

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Observations, Words

This is part of my response to a viewer, who after seeing a film trailer requested that I change the title of the film.

‘ … I knew that ‘Between You and I’ broke a rule. Subjective v Objective and all that. Knowledge founded on years of studying tortuous Latin in an ancient English boarding school probably.

But language is an odd substance. I remember vividly hearing a song by the band Yes, called ‘And You and I’ and admiring the way that it sounded. The title, and the song. Language often breaks grammatical rules in art. And in everyday use. Or probably should do.

I have found myself using the three words ‘you and I’ in just that sequence in my poems. Somehow the meaning is different to me. Or should that be I? I will have to admit that I have received more than a few notes from Professors of English. Oddly enough, I have never received a reply to my responses. I believe they were courteous.

I imagine that rules should never existed carved in stone, and yet they have an incredibly important purpose. I do understand this. I do know that many consume words through the construct of the rules of language. And did wonder whether I was simply breaking a rule for undeserving reasons. I don’t think so, BUT that said, with this film I did observe how some people couldn’t come to terms with the broken rule and therefore missed the value of the film. And there is deep value I believe.

After sitting with this a few weeks, I changed it. So thank you for your note. It made me think.

‘Between You and Me’ will screen on MONDAY, in readiness for Valentine’s Day. I hope the audience will now include, or at the very least not exclude, Professors of English Language the world over.’