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Archive for November 2nd, 2012

A grammar rant: “me and him” is ALWAYS wrong!

You know things have gone haywire in Grammarland when you take notice of people using language properly. I’ve touched on it before, but this Facebook ad put me over the edge this morning, so I feel I MUST address this specific grammar problem, yet again.

The word ME is virtually never the subject of a sentence. (I say virtually, because it might have been the subject of that previous sentence, had I omitted “The word” and just begun with “ME,” but I figured that might just have confused folks, so I decided to leave well enough alone.) Yet we hear and see “me” used as a subject everywhere. And from smart people, too! The final episode of my favorite TV show ever, West Wing, aired on May 14, 2006, yet I still remember John Spencer’s character using the “me and him” construction. David Letterman uses it. I saw it in a David Baldacci novel. My niece and husband use it. It’s so ubiquitous – and soooooooo incorrect!

I feel a little validated that I’m not the only one annoyed by our collective migration to this ridiculously wrong use of grammar. Heidi Stevens touches on the topic in the August 22, 2012 Chicago Tribune. What I’d really like to figure out, though, is how we can shift people back to the correct usage.

For the record, here’s the grammar lesson again.

When do you use “I” and when do you use “me”?

“I” is a pronoun that must be the subject of a verb. “Me” is a pronoun that must be the object of the verb. The easiest way to decipher the two is to remove the other noun from the sentence and see if it still makes sense.

Correct use:

  • I went hiking.
  • My family and I went hiking.
  • My family went hiking with me.

Incorrect use:

  • Me went hiking. <— This is wrong and makes no sense.
  • Me and my family went hiking. <— This is WRONG and makes NO SENSE.

It feels a bit futile to make this argument, and yet I can no longer stand silently by as this oh-so-incorrect construction continues to permeate our language. Please do your part to help me clean up this small, but toxic, grammar challenge.

Laura

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