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Me, Myself, and I

Monday, December 17, 2007
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Today I’m grousing about grammar. As a logophile, and a professional copy editor, I’m always seeing/hearing things around me that I find REALLY annoying. Tonight I heard one that’s an oldie, but it still gets me every time . . .

Why is it that people are so scared to say I that they replace it in subjects with myself, and so afraid to say me that they replace it in objective phrases with I? Example:

Geoff, Mary Alice, and myself are going to Denver . . . 

When Duff said this on Ace of Cakes tonight—not once, but a couple of times—I just about screamed. We wouldn’t say, “Myself is going to Denver.” We would say, “I am going to Denver.” Just because there are a couple more names tacked onto the beginning of the sentence, doesn’t keep it from being a SUBJECT.

Then there’s the other side of the problem (not direct quotes, but examples):

When you’re done with the pencil, give it to Geoff or I.
When you’re done with the pencil, give it to Geoff or myself.

Here, the pronoun is an object. Again, we wouldn’t say, “Give it to I” or “Give it to myself.” We say, “Give it to me,” because the pronoun is the OBJECT (what the subject is acting upon).

I hear this all the time in songs (major culprit right now is “I Wonder As I Wander”) where people use me or I solely based on what rhymes, not what’s gramatically correct. (Country music is really bad about it.)

I could go on for pages and pages and pages about other pet peeves (such as: it’s try TO not try AND), but I’ll save those for another time when I need a quick post.

What about you? What are some of your grammar pet peeves? Or is there a grammar rule that just doesn’t make sense to you, or one that you can never get right?

6 Comments
  1. Monday, December 17, 2007 8:07 am

    I’m so bad at grammar I don’t have any pet peeves. I always screw up ‘me’. I – I am fine with (for the most part – I never use myself. But ‘me’ I always seem to mess up using.

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  2. Monday, December 17, 2007 9:20 am

    The more I thought about this after I posted it, the more I realize that while switching me and I generates the desire in me to correct the speaker, it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as substituting myself for either of them. With me or I, at least there’s a 50% chance that it’s going to be right. With myself, it’s nearly 100% that it’s going to be incorrect.

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  3. Monday, December 17, 2007 2:05 pm

    Hmm, I don’t think I know enough grammar to have pet peeves 😉 I do, however, have several words that I can’t stand, just by the way they sound. I think PEEVE tops the list 🙂

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  4. Monday, December 17, 2007 8:20 pm

    Verb/subject tense agreement…hands down.

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  5. Tuesday, December 18, 2007 11:37 am

    What is tense agreements? LOL, I crack myself up. But come to think of it, Erica is right on that. It’s one of those things you hear often in conversation too.

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