in deep existential crisis..

A Journal by Sara

Teaching a lesson or two….

 

If Obama and I met now, according to conventional wisdom I would love to fix his grammar  about the usage of ‘me’ and ‘I’. Do you know, what Patricia and me believe in common? Grammar Junkies. Here is the explanation.

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For centuries, it was perfectly acceptable to use either “I” or “me” as the object of a verb or preposition, especially after “and.” Literature is full of examples. Here’s Shakespeare, in “The Merchant of Venice”: “All debts are cleared between you and I.” And here’s Lord Byron, complaining to his half-sister about the English town of Southwell, “which, between you and I, I wish was swallowed up by an earthquake, provided my eloquent mother was not in it.”

It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that language mavens began kvetching about “I” and “me.” The first kvetch cited in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage came from a commencement address in 1846. In 1869, Richard Meade Bache included it in his book “Vulgarisms and Other Errors of Speech.”

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On other presidents’ language skills:

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Our 44th president isn’t the first occupant of the White House to suffer from pronounitis. Nos. 43 and 42 were similarly afflicted. The symptoms: “for Laura and I,” “invited Hillary and I,” and so on. (For the record, Nos. 41 and 40 had no problem with the objective case, regularly using “Barbara and me” or “Nancy and me” when appropriate.)

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Hence Obama is not the only one to err. If you ask him, he would say correctly, other presidents and I have made a common mistake and believe me it would just stop with Grammar.

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February 25, 2009 - Posted by | Languages, Literature

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