In Defense of Me

crystal peacockIt has come to my attention that people are uncomfortable with Me. It’s almost as if they’re embarrassed by Me. You see, the problem only comes up with Me and the addition of someone else.

People are happy enough to go with Me to a movie. (Last week a friend went to see The Martian with Me; the two of us both found it lackluster, but that’s beside the point.) People sometimes even give gifts to Me. You might hear someone say, “Look at this lovely crystal peacock that the Duchess gave to Me.”

Everything changes if someone else shows up, though.

sad with flowerI calligraphyEverything can seem to be going along just swimmingly for Me, but then suddenly people show how they really feel. If anyone else shows up people shove Me aside, going instead for my “classier” sister to say, “Would you like to come along to the movies with Francesca and I?” No one wants to be seen with poor, common Me, and people don’t want to share with Me, either: That beautiful crystal peacock? Well, now I have it. “The Duchess gave the most lovely crystal peacock to Francesca and I.”

What about Me? Wasn’t that crystal peacock for Me?

Sad MeHow do you think all this makes Me feel? It baffles Me. What is so objectionable about Me. Why can’t people understand the objective nature of Me isn’t objectionable. I can get a little snooty about being all subjective, and serving as the subject of sentences, but being objective is important, too. It’s the only way to be a direct or indirect object–and especially the only way to do a good job as the object of a preposition! No matter how hard I may try, a nominative pronoun is never any good as the object of a preposition. This isn’t only a problem for Me.

I am getting overworked.

stickmanThe time has come, and I am putting my serif down! I work hard as the subject of your sentences; I enjoy mixing it sometimes up as a predicate nominative. (Quite the clever pronoun am I.) But I absolutely do not work in prepositional phrases, not even with a friend. So when the Duchess is handing out crystal fowl, let her give it to Aloysius and Me. Go to the movies sometimes with Francesca and Me. Give your friends and Me a chance to get acquainted. Do it for yourself… and Me.

 

This is my personal grammatical pet peeve. I’ve never been able to understand why people feel the need to say for you and I when they would never say for I. I think they believe it sounds more sophisticated, but it really just sounds like some schmuck with poor grammar trying to pass himself off as sophisticated. It doesn’t work, Schmucky.

If you haven’t heard it, start listening; I’m sure you’ll hear it soon. And now it will bug you, too.

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16 thoughts on “In Defense of Me

  1. The Martian! My husband went with me on opening day! We were so excited. He listened to it with me during our 10 year anniversary trip. The opening scene was phenomenal, but me didn’t think it lived up to the book. (Tee hee.)

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    1. I know me didn’t either. I had actually listened to the audiobook, and I found every excuse in the world to listen. The reader was fantastic, and I just closed my eyes and became completely immersed in the world. I was really afraid that Mark might die as I listened. The device used in which he was recording his diaries worked so well in audiobook format because it always felt like I might just have been listening to the files they found. Still the movie was diverting enough.

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  2. Hmm…actually, I believe it’s correct to say, “The Duchess gave the most lovely peacock to me and Frank.”

    I can’t remember where I read it, but the rule of thumb is that if you have a sentence that uses ‘I’ in the singular, the plural would be ‘Mister X and I’, whereas if it uses ‘me’ in the singular, the plural would be ‘me and Mister X’.

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      1. I have several pet grammatical and spelling peeves, but I won’t go into that right now. I have to frequently bite my tongue to keep from correcting someone IRL or online.

        I’ve never had a problem with the proper use of Me and I, but I was once given some advice that makes perfect sense for anyone who is confused. “Take the other person out of the sentence and see if it makes sense. For example, if ‘Joe gave me and Ruth a lesson in grammar’ then taking Ruth out of the sentence it is still grammatically correct. But if ‘Joe gave Ruth and I a lesson in grammar’, taking Ruth out of the sentence structure leaves I hanging without any support.” (I don’t remember all the descriptive words, such as first-person singular pronoun. After 45+ years it still just comes to me automatically.)

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  3. I think this is one of those “rules” that either we get–or we don’t. They probably teach it in elementary school at an awkward time, maybe when we were sick…”we” being “you and I.”

    I have a mental crutch I use…which delays my reply by at least a nano-second while my brain decides the correct useage. Hmmm… this requires re-stating the question. I use other pronouns for this. Such as…if something is for Bob and Me… I might say “We were given an apple. ” Not “Me was given an apple,” although I could say “Bob was given an apple…”

    To be more confusing it might be necessary to say “Bob and I were each given an apple. Or Bob and I were given one apple to share.”

    Then there is the pesky He She It…. (not in the sexist context) … but here again is the problem of saying “He gave an apple to…She.” oh-oh, no no. We have to bring in Her and Him.
    “She gave Her an apple… but Her did not give She anything in return.” (poor form)

    Good grief, no wonder the language is so complicated!

    If we don’t get those technical details as babies learning to talk…or study them again in class…woe is Us. Purists are forever more clucking at Our lack of linguistic skills…

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    1. Hahaha!! It’s so true! I think that so many people are not picking up the usage naturally through reading anymore. Although I learned all the rules, I don’t remember having to adjust my use of language. Also, I was just watching an old television show, and I noticed that the character correctly used the objective Me! That made me wonder just when this tendency to say, “for you and I” came into fashion.

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  4. Now you’ve got I wondering what grammatical mistakes me make…whose pet peeve am I guilty of — committing? violating? what do you do with a peeve?
    I drive my teacher friends crazy with the way I remember the difference between “it’s” and “its.” The apostrophe in “it’s” is really the “i” from “is” that just deflated, like a balloon, and floated up. No grammatical rule there, but it works every time.
    Just felt the need to share that. I don’t know why. It’s late.

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    1. Hahahaha! I believe one aggravates a peeve– or at least the person who has it! I love your way to remember its/it’s. I’m going to tell my students tomorrow. A good 1/3 of them haven’t figured out their own way yet, so let’s see if yours works!

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