Thursday, December 20, 2007

Grammar Pet Peeve: Me vs. I

Okay folks. Here's the deal: I am a big fan of correct grammar.

I love grammar.

I admit that faithful readers might take issue with this statement. But, I rebut their examples of sentence fragments, etc. used in my blog posts with this: my blog is all about casual-write-as-I-talk writing. When I am writing something formal, I promise that I use proper grammar, punctuation and more!

Lately I have noticed over and over and over again the incorrect use of "I" and "me" in sentences both written and spoken. Now folks, the people using these pronouns incorrectly are otherwise intelligent and often highly-educated people. And when they use I and me incorrectly, to me, it is like nails on a chalkboard.

Grammar Girl tackled this subject in her podcast/website over the summer. If you want the technical explanation of subject pronouns and object pronouns check out her post. (Oh, and if you, too, love grammar or could simply use a little help in the department and don't already know about Grammar Girl then be sure to check her out!)

Here's my tip for figuring out when to use I or me in a sentence: simply take the other person out and say the sentence again. Your ear will know what is correct.

Here's an example:

David took Jane and I out to dinner.

Sound correct?


But now read it like this: David took I out to dinner.

Now you can hear that it is wrong.

Here's the correct sentence: David took Jane and me out to dinner.

Remove Jane from the party and you'd have: David took me out to dinner.

Ding! Ding! Ding! That sounds correct and it is!

Grammar Girl surmises that people are "hypercorrecting" themselves, writing, "Most grammarians are sympathetic to people who say between you and I because it's considered a hypercorrection. The theory is that people have been so traumatized by being corrected when they say things such as Ashley and me went to the mall instead of Ashley and I went to the mall that they incorrectly correct between you and me to between you and I."

Just so you know, I am not one of those grammarians who is sympathetic. Use my little trick. I promise it will work and you'll write and speak better!


Jumping down. From soapbox.

1 comment:

  1. hanks for the link! I just added you to my site


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