Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Me am tired, so this is the best me can do today...

I started writing a post about subject-verb agreement, but got so worked up that I had to save to drafts.  So let us settle for a quick-and-easy grammar nugget:  the I vs. me issue.  If  this is a trouble spot for you, I am about to show you a trick that will make your writing (and speaking) life easier. 

Example 1:  Roger and me will go to the store for you.

Is this the right pronoun?  No. Now we shall correct the above sentence.

Roger and me ain't goin' to the damn store at all because you're pickin' on the way we talk.  So you can git your Mt. Dew and bag of Fritos your own damn self, Miss Smarty Pants.  (I'm Southern; some people in my family really talk like this and I love them anyway.)

That still not working for you?  OK, here is how to help Roger's ignorant friend:   leave Roger at home.  If you are not sure which personal pronoun to use, remove the other noun.  So instead of writing (or saying), "Roger and me will..." take Roger out and try "Me will go..."  Oooo...not good!  Sounds better to say, "I will go..." does it not?  Yes, it does.  Therefore the correct statement would be "Roger and I will go to the store for you.

Thank you, Roger.  I want a pack of Twinkies too, so here's another dollar.

Example 2:  The best times in the race were recorded by Martha and I.

Hmmm...let's leave Martha in the dust (because she really isn't very nice) and see if this is better...

The best time in the race was recorded by I.  Ouch!  No!  (Yes, I also changed times and were to match the now single pronoun; it is very good that you noticed!)

So obviously that Martha bitch did well in the race, because the best times were recorded by Martha and me.

Recap:  If you are not sure whether to use I or me, then use one alone and see if it sounds right.

Footnote:  Thank you Ms. Noel, my fourth grade teacher, for this lesson.  I never forgot it, or you.

~The Grammar Maven~

Hey!  Are you really waiting for The Grammar Maven to screw up? Shame on you.  My H key doesn't work half the time so I frequently type wit instead of with. Makes me sound all hip and street, yet quite stupid.


p-huong said...

My fifth grade teacher taught me this. =) However when I talk really fast, I use the wrong pronoun. And I put everything out of order. "Dude, so me, Howard, and Kevin took the longest route ever to avoid walking in the rain."

Maura said...

I am not waiting for you to screw up because I know you know that whole proofreading "trick" that eludes so many.

All I'm waiting for is for you to let me sit at your feet and soak up your magnificence. (In a grammar way, of course, not any other way. My grammatically correct door doesn't swing that way.)

Perhaps one of these times you can talk about hyphen use and abuse. Although I think we might get kicked out of here and shuttled to some grammar blog if the villagers riot.

Your fan,

(Marinka, please save me and delete those stupid deletions of mine! Thanks & sorry.)

Pamela said...

I love you.

A request: Colin and semi-colins. I hope I didn't misspell, your highness.

Unknown said...

Colons and semi-colons are a pain. Especially during a colonoscopy.

Liz Lancs said...


Now make my husband use: There, they're and their properly. And here and hear.
And, while you're at it, then and than.
And if you can get him to stop saying, "We was..."


Can I just hit him with something big and heavy then? Pretty please?