Somehwere in Stafford, Virginia, lives Suzette Gomez Zaginailoff, a woman who is far more concerned with finding offense than she is with actually understanding how the words she uses work together to form sentences.
Next week's TV Guide includes a letter from her which says, "I do believe that, thanks to Dennis Haysbert's character on 24, people will be more accepting of Barack Obama in office [this is in response to a piece TV Guide ran on 1/21 in their Breaking News section]. My problem is with the fact that you wrote Haysbert played a black president. Haysbert is black. He does not play black!"
Apparently Ms. Zaginailoff decided that grammar was optional, so she opted out of any comprehension of how subjects, verbs, and objects work. For those who are as clueless as Zaginailoff, though, let me explain:
A direct object is, in simple terms, a noun that generally comes after a transitive verb; in effect, it receives the action of the verb directly. In the sentence "Haysbert played a black president," Haysbert is the subject; played is the verb. A direct object is often found by asking the question "subject + verb + what?" Haysbert played what? President. (Remember, the object must be a noun, not an adjective; black is an adjective describing president.)
At no point does this sentence state that Haysbert "played black."
I realize this is heady, intellectual stuff, but let's hope that at some point one of her friends will attempt to educate Zaginailoff so that in the future she doesn't come across as a Jethro Bodine with a chip on her shoulder...