The Marketing Word | Differentiation Marketing

TAG | grammar

I Gotta Be I?

(With apologies to Steve Lawrence and Sammy Davis, Jr.)


This is a  quickie post but it’s something that’s been bugging me for a long time.  When did people become afraid of using the word “me”?  (Except of course, for those self-proclaimed divas who have no problem stating that they need some “me time”.  But that’s another post.) 

So, I will just play the Grammar Fairy, come down, tap you on the head with my magic wand and tell  you how to use the word “me” with confidence.

Easiest one to remember:  After the words “to”or “for”.  Sure, I could go all the way back to first year Latin and impress you with my knowledge of the dative case, but hey – who cares?   To me; for me.  Give the ball to me.  The package came for me.   Simple.  And hardly anyone screws this one up.

But here’s where people have trouble.  When they add in another person.  For example:

Come down to the office and meet with Bobby and I. 

 Take out the “Bobby and” and read the sentence aloud.

Come down to the office and meet with I.

Kind of obvious now, isn’t it? 

Anytime you are unsure as to whether you should use me or I, take out the “whatever and” and read the sentence out loud without them. 

“But Barb,” you ask.  “What about predicate nominative?” 

Dear God, you warm the cockles of my heart. 

The predicate nominative is a noun that follows a linking verb that restates or stands for the subject. 

We had a running joke in our house.  No one would respond to the question “Who is it?” with “It’s me.”  We’d all say, “It is I, predicate nominative.”   My mother had corrected all of us enough times that we just added in the grammatical footnote automatically.

But for those of you who did not have the benefit of my mother correcting your grammar for 18 years, just think back to the song in Peter Pan:  I Won’t Grow Up.   The chorus was:  “I’ll never grow up, not me.”  “Not I.”  “Not me, so there.”   Peter could fly but his grammar sucked.  Not I. 

So, fear no more.  You are allowed to use the word “me.”  Just not in the context of “me-time.”

And that's the marketing word.

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February 2018
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