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Dear Felicity,

Please see our post: I is not an object …

You have provided several examples to ask your one question. This makes the answer more complex than the one word responses you received on the Web site.

What you ask is, effectively, which should be used as a subject, I or me? “Betty and I (subject) are going out.” is correct here. “Betty and me are going out.” is incorrect. It is not surprising to us that you have heard incorrect usage on TV. We could likely make a living correcting grammatical misuse on TV.

Now, when you move on to your … “Or join Betty and me.” you have changed the question … this is correct because, as we mentioned in our earlier post, “I is not an object …” In this case, me is correctly used as an object.

BTW, we recommend spell checking the title of your post: “… English/grammer

Thank you for your (unknowing) contribution to our blog.

Sincerely,

GrammarCops

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I is not an object … def. –pronoun 1. the nominative singular pronoun, used by a speaker in referring to himself or herself.

Me is not a subject … def. –pronoun 1. the objective case of I, used as a direct or indirect object.

In other words, you don’t speak to I, give things to I, or decide between I and another.

Nor would me speak to others, give them things, or make the decision between a and b.

I would speak to him. I would give things to her, and I would decide between x and y.

And, you would speak to me, she would give things to me, and he might decide between you and me.

The bigger question, and frequent misuse, seems to come when combining subjects and/or objects … mostly the latter. What do we mean?

Here goes …

Please call Mike and ___ . (I or me?)

Terry was speaking to him and ___ . (I or me)?

Pat gave the paper to you and ___ . (I or me?)

How can you decide between her and ___? (I or me?)

Hint: take out the other person, enter the correct form, then add the other person back in … like this:

Please call ___ . (I or me?) Therefore … Please call Mike and me.

Terry was speaking to ___ . (I or me?) Therefore … Terry was speaking to him and me.

Pat gave the paper to ___ . (I or me?) Therefore … Pat gave the paper to you and me.

Get it? Got it. Good.

As we were saying … “I is not an object …”

Learn more about reflexives at our post: Self-exploration …

References: grammarpolice.com, dictionary.com, Grammar Girl

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A few days ago, we picked up on a thread that was going around, and we made an original contribution to an existing list.

See our previous post: Logic and the English language, part 2.

Yesterday, we got an email from a friend that took this concept even further, and now it has us on a roll …

Here is more evidence that English may not be the easiest language to learn:

  • The bandage was wound around the wound.
  • The farm was used to produce produce.
  • The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  • We must polish the Polish furniture.
  • He could  lead if he would get the lead out.
  • The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  • Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  • A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  • When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  • I did not object to the object.
  • The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  • There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  • They were too close to the door to close it.
  • The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  • A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  • To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow. (Later, the farmer also taught the sow to sew.)
  • The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  • Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  • I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  • How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

And a few additions of our own:

  • The violinist, a master with the bow, took a bow to the audience.
  • You wouldn’t want to be late for your morning latte.
  • Many decorate with holly in the holy season.
  • The judge dared to convict the convict once again.
  • The lather worked up quite a lather while cleaning the woodworking equipment.
  • Does it take a college course to learn to make a collage?
  • The august scholar was introduced in August.
  • A rebel with a cause has reason to rebel.
  • Do they eat lima beans in Lima, Peru?
  • There is a very nice city called Nice, in France.

And, several entries from our friends at fun-with-words.com:

  • Please excuse me while I think of an excuse.
  • The button was so minute that it was a minute before I found it.
  • It’s the referee’s job to record the new world record.
  • When people abuse drugs this is called drug abuse.
  • To contest the issue they held a contest.
  • John became a convert after deciding to convert to another religion.
  • If I need a duplicate I can use the copy machine to duplicate the letter.
  • The guard will permit you to pass if you show a valid permit.
  • Please put my typewriter to use because I never use it.
  • They alternate between using the alternate machine and the main one.
  • My grandfather is aged ninety-two so he is quite aged.
  • I crooked my neck to see the man with the crooked stick.
  • Extreme weather may desolate a place making it a desolate place.
  • Everything I know I learned from that learned old man.
  • The overture took years to perfect, but eventually it was perfect.
  • I want you to separate the cards into two separate piles.
  • I tried to console the controller as he stood at his console.
  • John was content that the content of the box was undamaged.
  • The drawer drew a picture of the cupboard and drawer.
  • The lavishly decorated entrance will entrance the visitors.
  • It will incense the bursar that we have spent so much on incense.
  • As my mother moped about, a man on a moped rode by.
  • I broke a number of bones in my right hand; it’s number than the left.
  • As the charity event proceeds, the proceeds keep pouring in.
  • The President will recount the events that led to a vote recount.
  • I resent the fact that the letter was lost, but I have resent it.

Now, you’ve had a loose lesson on Heteronyms. wasn’t that fun?

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We received an email with this subject:

“CONGRATE WINNER”

What did we win?

What comes to your mind?

Here’s what came to ours:

congrate

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A reader submits the GrammarGripe of the day: “myself” and “yourself

So, we venture upon an exploration of self …

~SELF as in: myself, yourself, himself, yourself, itself, but never hisself.

Although we will only talk about the singulars today, know that the same rules apply for the plural versions:

~SELVES as in: ourselves, yourselves, themselves, but never theirselves.

When ~SELF or ~SELVES is added to a pronoun such as my, him, your, her, and it, the pronoun becomes reflexive (directed back on itself).

Think of a mirror; the reflection implying the subject’s action back on itself. Such as:

Someone else just sees her. However, in the mirror, she sees herself. herself

Same for him … others just see him, but he sees himself in the mirror.himself

What’s wrong with these examples?

1. “The horse has bolted, leaving myself steaming with frustration.”

Where’s the reflection? “I,” “me,” or “my” is never the subject of the sentence, so, the reflective “myself” as an object does not match. (The horse would not see “myself” in a mirror.) It should read, simply, “The horse bolted, leaving me steaming with frustration.” Recommendation: make sure the gate is locked.

2. “This serves as your exclusivity agreement between [co. name] and yourself that …”

This gets slightly confusing because “your” is part of the sentence. However, remember that it is the agreement (itself) that is the subject and “yourself” is used, incorrectly, as an object. Therefore the reflection is misaligned. (The agreement would not see “yourself” in a mirror.) This clause should read: “This serves as your exclusivity agreement between [co. name] and you that …” Recommendation: get a different lawyer to write your contract.

There are many usage notes on this topic. If you want more, check out a couple of other sources, including:

myself” on Dictionary.com, and, our favorite:

Legal Lad’s explanations in Grammar Girl’s column from a couple of years ago.

You enjoy yourself!

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Seems we have a theme for today … he/she, him/her, I/me

  • In a movie synopsis: “…more educated and wealthier than him have failed.” Should be: he.  
  • In a TV Commercial for Chef Michael’s Dog Food: “My name is Chef Michael and my dog Bailey and me love to hang out in the kitchen …” Should be: I.
  • On a Facebook comment about cupcakes: “Bring Todd & I cupcakes!” Should be: me. This one was already tweeted, but it fits today’s theme and leads us to a new poll.
  • In song lyrics: Loggins & Messina – Danny’s Song: “He will be like she and me …” We’re not even going to “should” on this one … We love the song, but this goof makes us crazy!

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