Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend beads:

And now for a little grammatical rant...I know the English language is a living thing and what is acceptable changes over time, but I'm going to fight for you and me. Literally, you and me.

After hearing “you and I” in intances where "you and me" is correct (in everyday conversations and far too often on TV -- even in scripted shows!), I am compelled to comment on my biggest grammar pet peeve. In honor of my late grandmother Mary Belle, the Strict Grammarian who pounded the below information into my brain, I give you the basics…

"Xxxx and I" is the subject of a sentence, as in:
     John and I gave the key to Mary.

"Xxxx and me" is the object of a sentence, as in:
     Mary gave the key to John and me.

     (Mary gave the key to John and I is incorrect.)

If you don’t know a subject from an object, here’s an easy way to know what form is correct -- take the other person out of the sentence and see how it sounds (though I realize the inherent danger of using "how it sounds" as a test!)

Start with:     Mary gave the key to John and me.
Take the other person out of the sentence and you are left with:
     Mary gave the key to me.

Now see happens when "John and I" is incorrectly placed in the object position, as shown here:
Start with:     Mary gave the key to John and I.
Take the other person out of the sentence and you are left with:
     Mary gave the key to I. (See how wrong that sounds?)

Here’s my own theory on why so many people use “Xxxx and I” when they should use "Xxxx and me." As children we probably said, “Me and Billy are going to the park” or “Billy and me are going to the park" and would be corrected with "Billy and I are going to the park." After being corrected with the "Xxxx and I" phrasing so mnay times, those children started to incorrectly think "Xxxx and I" was correct in every instance. And now "Xxxx and I" is used incorrectly as the object so often that many people think "Xxxx and me" as the object "sounds wrong" even though it is actually correct.

I also hear people say, “Please forward the email to Steve and myself.” Arrgh. Just say, “Please forward the email to me.”


  1. I've been following your blog for a while, but your grammar love has finally prompted me to say hello *G* (The use of 'impact' as a verb, in place of 'to make an impact' is my particular peeve in the evolution of language)

    I also wanted to say I've very sorry about your Mokie.

  2. I think I love you! I spend quite a bit of time teaching my high school Spanish students English grammar. Usage is also lax on tv. My husband, an English as a second language speaker, is particularly tuned into misuse. We spent quite some time discussing nauseous vs. nauseated this weekend (aren't we a fun couple). After I explained that if he were nauseous I would be the one feeling sick, we heard it misused two or three times on tv.

    I learned the same test for subject or object from my mother and now teach it to my students.


    You are too funny! It is so true and it isn't that hard to figure it out either is it?

    My pet peeves are the use of "u" for "you" and "r" for are. I know it is because of all the texting people are doing, but please.............not on paper or e-mail.

    As for the beads. Fantastic as usual. You are so prolific. All in one weekend huh? Sheesh!

  4. I agree with you concerning grammatical errors. It seems that speaking correctly is not important to people anymore. It is sad. I love your beads! They are fun!

  5. Keep ranting, please. I am always making these corrections with my kids, and they are starting to self correct lately (yeah....) They are a bit hampered by the fact that they are schooled in a completely francophone environment, so I am responsible for their English....eek! Will continue to be vigilant. Don't get me started on 'Can I?' and 'May I?'.....

  6. This grammar discussion is do elegantly perfect that I'm going to use it when I teach. Right on.
    Three cheers for your grandmother and the beautiful beads.


  7. have you had a chance to rant about ending sentences with an adverb? it's easy to correct, however, by adding a noun . my hubby and me use a--h--e. silently, of course.
    agree with hazel about verbs becoming nouns.
    don't have a thing about using capitals in typing, though. that's because i'm a lousy,lazy typist.

  8. Thank you!!!!!!!!!! I hate when I watch the news and hear things that talking head should KNOW because it's their JOB!!!!

  9. Just jumped over from MissFickleMedia's blog, as I was enticed by your button there. I am SO enjoying your grammar lesson!!!!!!!! I talk to the tv quite often correcting the "I" and "me".(It makes me crazy, too!!) My mother was quite the stickler on grammar growing up. THanks for the chuckle, and I LOVE your beads!!!!

  10. I came here to look at your pretty polymer clay creations. They are lovely and made me smile, but not nearly as much as did your grammar lesson. And I think your theory on why it's such a big problem is dead on.

    Looking forward to seeing some more polymer clay pretties and maybe a lesson on bring vs take?



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