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The bane of I’s existence…

09/14/2010

I consider myself sort of a grammarian, and it’s not that I’m particularly great at it; it’s just that many people are so bad with our English language… and most of those people seem to be on national TV.

Here’s the number one grammar faux pas that bugs me most and seems to happen most frequently.  It’s the misuse of subjective and objective pronouns. I’ve heard newscasters bungle them. I’ve seen the rule bastardized on Facebook.  Ironically, the most annoying flubs come from one of Facebook’s ex-patriots, Ali Fedotowsky – The Bachelorette.  She was pretty bad on her ABC shows, but now she’s posting pictures of “Roberto & I?

Even worse is (or was… tonight was the fianale) Ali’s sister show, Bachelor Pad.  It is a veritable cornucopia of grammar gaffes.

So here’s the breakdown of the rule:

I

I is the first person singular subject pronoun.  It is the subject of the sentence and it is the the one performing the verb as in “I went to the store.”

Me

Me is the object pronoun.  In the “Ron went to the store with me” sentence, the “me” is the object.  So an object is the the “thing” that is being done to or, in this case, the person that the action of a verb is being done to, or to which a preposition refers.

Nobody ever says “Look at these pictures of I.”   It’s so terribly obvious when it is by itself.  The confusion always comes when it’s attached to conjunction and a name or pronoun.  To some, the sentence “Look at these pictures of Roberto and I” sounds proper.  Let me tell you it’s not, and, to me, it’s fingernails-on-the-chalkboard wrong.

The litmus test for this rule is so simple, I don’t know how anybody screws it up.

The the “Roberto and” out of the sentence.  If it makes sense, it’s probably right.  “Me and Roberto went to the store.” That doesn’t sound so bad, but it is quite improper.  When you remove “and Roberto,” it is obvious it’s wrong as Soon-Yi and Woody.  Unless, of course, the sentence “Me went to the store” sounds pleasing to your ear. If so, perhaps you live in a cave and groove on discord of Matisyahu.

If that is the case, then please do me this favor:  stay off national TV.  And if you do choose to bludgeon the English language, at least keep it confined to the comfort of your terra cotta grotto, because you really hurt I’s ears when you do it in public.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/14/2010 9:55 am

    Nothing is hotter than a guy who knows his grammar, Steve! Tell your wife she is a lucky woman:) You have got to check out this blog: http://grammatically.blogspot.com/

  2. Jenelyn Russo permalink
    09/14/2010 11:57 am

    Love this. I have to admit, while I do fairly well on the grammar front (I get the dif between their, there, and they’re), I have always had trouble with this one. It’s because of how it sounds. But thanks for the clarification. I’ll be sure to try and not scrape any chalkboards in your presence.

    • 09/14/2010 1:12 pm

      The better half and I sit on the couch and mock them, probably because I’m jealous of Dave’s physique. The subject/object, I/Me thing occurred approximately 23 times in a two-hour block. Then Allie’s “R & I” thing was tipping point. I had to call them out. Bless their/there/they’re hearts; they’re just trying to sound more smarter.

  3. 09/19/2010 5:51 pm

    Can you come and give a lecture to my class? They need an intervention.

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