I am not a grammar nazi. But every now and then I’ll notice awkward writing and style that’ll get under my skin like a bad rash that needs scratching. Such is the case with ESPN Deportes’ use (or lack-there-of) of the direct object pronoun in Spanish.

This small group of words (la, el, le, los, les, las me,te,lo,la,nos,os,los,las) helps indicate the person, event, or thing (or team!) that is affected by the verb. It’s similar to its English counterpart, save for the placement in the sentence.

So it’s quite obnoxious when ESPN Deportes does not apply the DOP when writing or talking about baseball teams. They do it both on air and in writing, and its so pervasive that it must be part of their own style.

What’s worse is that it’s actually, not consistent at all. It took me two clicks to find this story, whose lead includes a DOP. Other Spanish language websites use the DOP appropriately, like Miami’s El Nuevo Herald, Univision.com, and Spanish language newspapers like Veneuela’s El Universal. (Fox Sports’ Spanish web portal is a co-violator of the DOP.)

In fact, even the freakin’ teams themselves use the DOP inconsistently. Over the past few seasons several teams have catered to their Hispanic audience by sporting a DOP in their unis. Just this past Friday, the Marlins took the field wearing this. The Mets, and the Dbacks have also used the DOP on their shirts (and on the official Spanish language website!), but the Brewers and Giants have opted to leave it out.

This whole thing reminds me of an Advaned Spanish Grammar professor I had in college. He’d take points off your quizzes and tests for things like this.

Considering baseball is one of the most popular sports in the Spanish speaking world, it’s a shame the language is getting butchered left and right.

3 Responses to “Grammar gripe: ESPN Deportes’ inconsistent use of the direct object pronoun”

  1. Just to let you know, le and les are indirect object pronouns. You might want to make an edit so that you don’t undermine your own tirade with a mistake about as bad as the one the big corporations are making.

    I agree that there is no reason at all for companies with this much on the line (and a market as big as the Hispanic one for baseball) to be making mistakes that are this elementary.

  2. Plus, el is an article, not a pronoun. That about covers it…only half of your own examples were wrong. But the gist of the argument remains, and that’s what counts right?

    • Alejandro A. Leal says:

      Dang, i stand corrected. I did say I wasn’t a grammar Nazi, and I should also point out that I was the one losing points in Dr. Moreno’s tests. Thanks for the heads up Kris.

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