The "I"s Have It

By the time you read this, it may already be too late.  It is possible that there is nothing any of us can do at this point.  No, this is not about political turmoil in Egypt or the fact that China now controls more than 90% of the worlds  current supply of rare-earth metals.  This is about the near universal acceptance of the nominative case "I" for the objective case "me".  Who knows why many people are fine in the singular but throw in a compound subject and supposedly literate people begin to flounder around like, well, flounder.  No ear for language?  Too much texting?  The death of William Safire?   Whatever the explanation, this misuse has reached epidemic proportions in recent years.

A couple of examples of incorrect usage of the nominative I with compound subjects: "Thank you so much for having Lulu and I down for the weekend," should be "...Lulu and me down for the weekend."  "Here is a picture of Lulu and I in St. Kitts," should be "...Lulu and me in St. Kitts."

While we know, that our readers are both mannerly and scholarly, possibly, if you know of anyone who knows anyone for whom the following tip might prove useful, please pass it along.  Before it's too late.

The tip is this, dear friend of a friend of our reader:  just pretend you are making a singular statement then stick your friend, partner, roommate, relation, or nemesis right in front.

For example: "I went to St. Barths,"  becomes "Lulu and I went to St. Barths."  Or "Thank you for inviting me to St. Barths." becomes "Thank you for inviting Lulu and me to St. Barths." Not, not, not "Thank you for inviting Lulu and I to St. Barths."  One more, "Granny took me to the theater"  becomes "Granny took Lulu and me to the theater"  not "Granny took Lulu and I to the theater."  

Good luck out there.  Be strong in the face of bad grammar.  Elizabeth and I thank you.  Please let Elizabeth and me know how you get on.




8 comments:

Deb said...

Okay, so we are supposed to laugh that you ended the last sentence with a preposition, right? Or at least get the joke? I'm proud to admit I did both! Another fun grammar fact I learned was that a preposition can be anything a plane is to a cloud (above, below, on, in, etc...). Fun trick. And excellent post. I thank you. :)

New Lisa said...

Oh goodness, that makes me mental! (This is probably not grammatically correct because "mental" isn't the correct word, but "crazy" is just too....crazy.). I see this all the time...in personal writing and in print that is supposedly professional. I think it is too late. (And by the way, I know the period outside the above parenthesis is wrong...I put it inside where it belongs, but my iPad self-correct insists on putting one outside and despite repeated corrections on my part, it, like my children and husband, insists it is always correct!)

Anonymous said...

My favorite is when the kids (or my husband) are comparing themselves to others.
"She has more than me!", says child #1... "Than I do!" says this mommy... "He skied down faster than me!" says hubby... "Than I did" says this mommy...
It's constant... just like the "buzz" my mother used to do and still does when we use like (not as a simile or metaphor)... xo Nif

EHP said...

I blame it on that 90's song with a lyric "... there is a distance between you and I..." always drove me crazy.

Anonymous said...

Oh this is good, but only the beginning. I could do a guest blog post on the misuse of apostrophes.

EBB said...

Are you my mother?

Amy said...

Oh, my. AM SO WITH YOU. And, I inadvertently set off a huge overreactive firebomb in my 'hood two years ago when I wrote about this particular pet peeve of mine, because I waved a vague gesturing hand in the direction of a frenemy by referring to the misuse as being rampant among even lawyers, librarians, and CPAs (one of those being her profession)... not to mention our president. It got a bit ugly.

Anonymous said...

My second grader just told me that "something a little strange happened in school today". She said she put up a picture of herself and her pet and labeled it "This is a picture of Rover and I" and her teacher changed it to "Rover and me." I explained that the teacher was correct and showed her how she could tell whether it should be I or me. She was very amused to test it out - "me went to the store", etc.

Post a Comment

We would be delighted to hear your thoughts on the matter. Please, do tell us!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...