Monday, January 5, 2015

Me Before I

I come here tonight in defense of the word "me."  "Me" is too often maligned; tossed aside imperiously in favor of its cousin "I."  Let's all stop doing that.

I suspect that in your youth you were frequently admonished against beginning your sentences with the word "me." You'd say, "Me and Johnny are going to the playground."  And your mom would say,  "Johnny and I are going to the playground." And you'd say, "Well, can I come too?"  And your mom would laugh because you were such an endearing little scamp.  But her lesson was internalized.  People who say "me" are like this:

You would prefer to be like this:

And so whenever you feel the need to refer to yourself via a pronoun, you opt for "I."  This may lead you to say things like "Will you drive Johnny and I to the playground?"  Or "Between you and I, Johnny is a little old to be hanging out at the playground."  

This is not proper grammar.  It is the grammatical equivalent of this:

It is likely to result in reactions like this:

The word "me" is a wonderful word.  It is not "I"'s poor relation.  "Me" is quite sophisticated in its own right.  "Me" has earned its place at the table and will comport itself with manners and decorum.  Do not fear "me."  

Nay, I say! It is not "me" that you should be leery of; rather cast a suspicious eye at "I."  "I" is a Manchurian Candidate.  "I" tends to finagle sentence position it has not earned.  "I" can be kind of a pretentious asshole.  

And while I'm steering you clear of hifalutin misfires - you know the wine blend Meritage?  That's an American wine blend.  Pronounce accordingly.

Now go off to your fancy dinner parties, you paragon of grammatical and oenophilic sophistication!   I'll stay here in my pajamas farting around on the internet. But there's no need to thank me.