This is the same grammatical issue raised in another thread, except the examples there were not ideal, so the syntactic problem was side-stepped in favor of the semantic one.
Consider this example instead. A man has a car. His wife has a car. Together, they have two cars. He says:
Sounds perfectly natural, right? Unambiguous, even. Yet the mismatch between "We" and "car" is weird when you think about it, at least to me.
Luckily in this case, there are ready alternatives:
"We each have a car."
"We both have our own cars."
Both sound vastly superior to me.
Sometimes, however, there are no obvious alternatives. Take, for example, the opening of the song Different Drum (delightfully sung by Linda Ronstadt, by the way):
You and I travel to the beat of a different drum.
Well, actually, I suppose you could say:
You and I travel to the beats of our different drums.
But there have been cases where I couldn't readily apply my fixes. I just can't think of them at the moment.
My requests for you:
- Does this issue bother you (whether before or after my pointing it out)?
- If not, why not? (I'll be grateful if you can convince me and liberate me from these pedantic concerns.) If it does bother you, then do you approve of my proposed solutions. Feel free to suggest some of your own.
- (optional) Make up a sentence that doesn't lend itself easily to the already mentioned solutions, and suggest a way to fix it.