Around the time comedians lost interest in Chia Pet jokes, I lost interest in talking about subject-verb agreement. The topic seems tired, holds no challenge and is just, as comedians might say of Chia Pet punch lines, "too easy."
Everyone knows it's "Karen thinks" and not "Karen think." Everyone knows that "the dog lies" but "dogs lie." Where's the fun in talking about that? Sure, people sometimes lose track of their subjects: "Karen, who along with her brothers and sisters, own a lot of dogs." That should have been "owns." Yet caution — not insight — is all that's required to avoid these flubs.
But on a recent trip to the drug store, I got a clear reminder that even things we write off as old news may deserve a second look. That reminder came on a display rack containing a Chia Pet in the form of one Barack Obama. That fast, Chia Pets were funny again.