My sister and I were having a conversation yesterday about all the wild variations of mistakes people make when using “me” and “I” in sentences. It was a heated conversation because we both kind of know when to use what and were luckily raised by an English major.
I have a few different views of the English language. The first one is, “What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you speak correctly? Have you seriously been talking this way your whole life?” The second view is, “I really have no love for the English language. If it were up to me, we would all be speaking Spanish right now. At least Spanish makes more sense. Screw it up all you want.” Finally, the last view I have about the English language is, “Okay, we’ve all gone to school for enough years now to know the difference between Me and Jane went to the mall and Jane and I went to the mall. You are just being lazy.” I think I like the third view the best. Not by choice, but by the simple fact that I have had my English corrected for most of my life.
Here is the one that I find excruciatingly annoying:
Come look at the picture of Jane and I.
That one kills me. It absolutely kills me. I don’t know why I let things like this get to me, but I do. I admit that it’s a personality defect. I see it all the time, especially in photo captions on the internet.
Let me be clear here. I am not thinking of anyone in particular as I write this. I promise. This post stems from the conversation my sister and I had yesterday. I know how paranoid I get when people write about certain things. I always think they are talking about me. I am not talking about you. I swear.
Here is the simple rule that my mother used to tell me all the time when I was running out the door. I would say, “Me and Rob are going to the store.” She would reply, “Hold it right there you handsome little devil. It’s Rob and I are going to the store. Just take Rob out of the sentence. Would you say, Me am going to the store?”
That rule makes pretty good sense. So, instead of saying, “Come look at the picture of Jane and I,” I would say, “Come look at the picture of Jane and me.” Just take Jane out of the sentence.
Laura is much more forgiving when it comes to these types of things, but that’s not to say she doesn’t recognize errors in people’s grammar. She tells me that we have had this “I” thing jammed in our brains for way too many years and now people are using it for everything. It’s true, I guess. I mean, why else would everyone be doing it? Back in the day it was “me.” All sorts of people were saying, “Me and Jane went here” and “It’s for me and John.”
My sister emailed me a funny website that has a continuation of this conversation. You can find it by clicking here.
You know, sometimes I wish I was really the type of person that says something like, “This blog is owned by I.” Life would be so much easier.