Butchering grammar 3 for me

Several of my readers suggested some poor grammar that needs to be put out of its misery. Thanks for the contributions–send me more! I’d even accept photos of bad signage. Those are the most offensive, because in my (oh-so-humble) opinion these signs perpetuate more bad grammar. Their owners should be flogged.

Some readers talked about the offensive use of “I” versus “me.” (And, by the way, did you notice that the period just went inside the quotation marks? Unless you are British or Australian, you should do it my way–the right way. Refer to the MLA Handbook for Research Writers for the proper use of punctuation, an essential resource for your desk. Anyway, I digress, again.)

I’m not going to bore you with the terminology, the names and rules. Let’s just look at what works well. “Me and Angie are going to the store” is wrong on two counts. First, never put yourself first when talking about yourself. Why, you ask? This is not all about you. Put yourself last; it is more polite. Don’t hog the attention.

Secondly, you would not say, “Me is going to the store.” Well, I hope you wouldn’t say that. You would instead say, “I am going to the store.” Right? So then fix the whole thing: “Angie and I are going to the store.” Put yourself last and say “I am” to remind yourself of whether it is “I” or “me.”

Let’s look at another example of this. One reader used the following example: “My mother gave cookies to Sally and I.” Okay, you say, you just lectured me on the right use of I, and now you’re telling me this is wrong. I don’t get it.

Here’s what you need to get: Simplify this sentence and take Sally out of it. “My mother gave cookies to I.” Does that sound right? of course not! You would properly say, “My mother gave cookies to me.” So why don’t you say it correctly? “My mother gave cookies to Sally and me.” She gave them to me, right? Not I. (And did you notice? We put ourselves last and Sally first. Good for us; we’re polite.)

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1 Comment

Filed under Grammar

One response to “Butchering grammar 3 for me

  1. Beth Smith

    Even into my adulthood, my father used to correct my making the “Sally and me” mistake. I would say, “My mother gave cookies to Sally and I.” My father would quietly say, “me.”

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