Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Thank You My Teacher

This is actually a question I asked myself.

At our school, for Teacher's Day a few months back, the theme was "Thank you My Teacher".  This was prominently displayed around the school, and students filled out cards with this heading.

To me, it just didn't sound right, and I strongly suspect the slogan was designed by one of the non-native English speaking staff at our school.
But when it came to explaining what the problem was, I couldn't put my finger on exactly what grammar rule was being violated.  It just struck my native speaker intuition as being wrong somehow.

I asked around the staffroom and got varying responses.  Some people thought it didn't sound wrong at all, and I was just being crazy.
Some people thought it sounded wrong because the "my" was redundant.
Some people thought it only lacked a comma to become grammatical.
Some people thought it was a cultural translation issue--in Vietnam (and many other Asian countries) the word "teacher" is used as a form of address, whereas in America we would just say the person's name (i.e. "Mr. Smith)

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