Don't Be Afraid of “Me”
Driving to Boston from the Cape yesterday, having to move to the right lane to pass a slower car on the left, I wondered: When did the rules of the road change? We were all taught to drive right and pass on the left. It’s much safer that way! A similar thought occurred the other night as I listened to a college-educated person say, “Me and him went out west together.” When did “me” replace “I” and vice versa?
Most often people will say “I” when it should be “me.” John gave Sally and I a lift to town. I used to advise an easy way to be correct is to eliminate the other person and the correct pronoun will jump out at you. John gave “I” a lift to town? Doesn’t sound right. John gave “me” a lift to town. But now that I hear people beginning a sentence with “me,” maybe that advice doesn’t hold anymore.
You have to understand I was an English Literature major and had grammar practically every year of school, so the misuse of pronouns is like scratching your nails across a blackboard for me. Maybe this will help:
The first column is the subject. The second column is the object of a verb or preposition. They are never interchangeable. Think of it this way: the person taking the action is I, He, She, They. The person receiving the action is Me, Him, Her, Them.
I threw the ball to him.
He threw the ball to her.
She threw the ball to them.
They threw the ball to me.
A few more examples:
I had a great round of golf today with Carol.
Carol and I had a great round of golf today.
I had a great round of golf today with her.
Carol had a great round of golf today with me.
And now, a word about the use of “myself.” Myself is only used as a second reference to one’s self.
I saved the fruit for myself, not he gave the fruit to myself. He gave half the fruit to me.
Am I the only one bothered when others misuse these words? Leave a comment below and tell me!