My very wise grandmother had a saying: “Some folks are born in the objective mood.” My father has noted that his mother did not have a lot of patience with folks who were always complaining and objecting to what others did. My grandparents always had a positive outlook and attitude toward people.
I’m here to let you know that I’m writing this particular post in the objective mood. You’ve been warned!
Have you noticed an epidemic of the misuse of “I” and “me” by people who should know better?
“Me, Zim, Rendon, we’re going to get [right-hander Stephen Strasburg] back soon too, those are all pretty good acquisitions too that you don’t have to give anything up for.”
Aaarrrgh! Jayson Werth’s commentary on the return of the walking wounded to the Nationals lineup was just one of what seems a daily barrage to the grammar senses. I had it drilled into me: never put yourself first in a series. “Zim, Rendon, and me…” Think of others first. How hard is that to remember?
Perhaps I’m in the objective mood because “me” is an object pronoun and it is constantly misused as a subject pronoun. I see it in quotes from athletes. I see it in materials prepared by colleagues. I see it everywhere!
In the Blue Book of Grammar & Punctuation, Jane Straus writes of the “I vs. me” quandary:
Many of us have been brainwashed to believe that “I” is somehow more correct than “me.” Not so. “I” and “me” follow the same rules as all other pronouns. Would you say, “Please give it to I”? Of course not.
If you want something a little more direct, check out Please Stop Saying “And I” All the Damn Time.
Therefore, when speaking, simply ask yourself if you’re a subject or an object. If you’re an object (“Will you take a picture of Slade and…”), then you must, for the sake of all that is still good in the world, say “me.” And until you master it, a short break from talking about yourself might be in order.
One of the most common grammar errors made by people of all ages is to start a sentence with the word “Me.” For example: “Me and my family will be there at 8,” or “Me and Josh are going to play baseball.” Now’s the time to quit making that mistake. Resolve that you will never goof that way again. Instead, you refer to yourself second in sentences like that, and usually you should use “I” instead of “me.”
Please, think of others first.
The only time “me” works first? Why, Me and Bobbie McGee, of course.
More to come…