Dear bloggers [a point of grammar],

There’s an easy way to figure out if you’re supposed to say “person and I” vs. “person and me.”

Say the sentence to yourself without the “person and” part.  We know you get it right when you’re starting a sentence with just “I” or using “me” appropriately later on.  There’s large swaths of the country that start sentences with “Me and him” but we know you wouldn’t do that.

“What works for DH and I” or “What works for DH and me”?  Think to yourself “What works for I” or “What works for me”?  Hopefully doing that has caused you to choose “What works for DH and me.”

Similarly when you’re labeling photos– “My BFF and I” would be appropriate if you finish the sentence “My BFF and I are eating ice cream” but is inappropriate if that’s all you’re labeling the picture with.  Do you label pictures just “I”, or do you label them “me”?  Therefore, the picture is labeled “My BFF and me.”

This has been a public service announcement from the grumpy grammarians.

35 Responses to “Dear bloggers [a point of grammar],”

  1. Ana Says:

    Oh my, now I’m feeling compelled to scan my posts for this error… I KNOW the rules, but tend to get sloppy when I’m writing emotional crap…

  2. Laura Vanderkam (@lvanderkam) Says:

    The widespread use of “your” for “you’re” or the other way around used to bother me, but then I realized the use of “ur” bothered me a lot more, so I’ve been trying to calm down.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Ur actually bothers us less– it’s easy to pretend it’s accepted internet shorthand. Of course, we also use l33t from time to time (you know, ironically). Your vs. you’re is seriously annoying, but we rarely see that one from people who have otherwise good grammar and spelling, so we can generally just stop reading as soon as we see that helpful flag.

  3. bogart Says:

    … with bonus points for the ability to discuss in an articulate matter whether “You are grumpier than me” or “You are grumpier than I?”

  4. Dame Eleanor Hull Says:

    Thank you for this PSA. It drives me crazy when people do this. For some reason, “for you and I” bothers me way more than “me and her went,” though it’s a similar error.

  5. Leah Says:

    Part of me wishes I could “like” this post, and part of me thinks that is what is wrong with the internet these days (lack of dialogue). So I dropped in to say this:


  6. Susan Says:

    On a side note, I wish I could somehow remove the word ‘myself’ from the popular lexicon. (No, it doesn’t make you sound all classy and edumacated).

  7. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    As much as I agree with you, we are tilting at windmills. The accusative I is here to stay.

  8. oilandgarlic Says:

    I think the internet has ruined my grammar. I used to know the rules but after repeat exposure to many, many incorrect usages, it starts to get confusing sometimes. I think I’m likely to slip up if I’m writing a quick email or blog post.

  9. chacha1 Says:

    Thank you for your service to the Internet. :-)

  10. Random passerby Says:

    I like substituting we (use person and I) or us (use person and me). Ex: “Between us” works and “between we” does not, so I know to use “between you and me”, rather than “between you and I”. It would also work nicely for the, “Me and her went . .” example above.

  11. Dr. Virago Says:

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. MutantSupermodel Says:

    I was going to say something but your other readers beat me to it.

  13. delagar Says:

    I’ve been teaching grammar using Gregory Pullum’s A Student’s Guide to English Grammar, in which he defends the use of the accusative I. (As in, for instance, “The bus dropped your mother and I at the seashore.”) He says it is commonly used by most educated speakers of the language at this point and therefore correct.

    I say it is the hill I will die on.

  14. femmefrugality Says:

    Oh, dear lord, I hope I wasn’t a guilty party in this. That one always annoys me…especially in the written word!

    Updated the blogroll, by the way. Sorry it wasn’t up right away. I wanted to find something that still incorporated RSS feeds. It may be the one thing I liked about Blogger better, but the one I’ve got up now works well enough.

  15. GMP Says:

    My native language has an intricate structure of grammatical cases, which are apparently the most difficult thing for foreigners to master. In contrast, English has its difficult aspects (spelling, anyone?), but the case structure isn’t among them: there’s the nominative case (“I”) and all the other cases basically fall under the oblique case [e.g. (from) me — that would be genitive of “I” in languages that have it, (to) me — dative, (acting on) me — accusative, (by) me — instrumental, etc.] So I am both amazed and amused at how many people, even educated ones, misuse “I”. It seems that people are so terrified of using the lowly “me” that the pendulum swung all the way in the other direction, and “I” is used in cases in which nobody in their right mind would use “he” or “she” or “we”. (My department chair is a notorious abuser of the “accusative I.” I am not a native English speaker and he is, so I generally keep my mouth shut, but it really pains me when I hear “The Dean invited Peterson and I to a meeting.” *shudder*)

  16. First Gen American Says:

    My son is going through a “got” phase. Hate that word. It started the first week school ended. It’s as if his brain stopped working the minute school vacation started.

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