It's not that a traditional rule has evolved into a modern rule. It hasn't. It's that people think they're saying it right, and they're not. And it bugs the hell out of me. So much so that I've decided to clear the air. To lay down the law. Finally. So here goes....
If someone said to you, "Me appreciate what people say..." what would you think?
I'm pretty sure you'd think the person was illiterate, wouldn't you? It's such a glaring grammar error that you almost never hear it. Of course, the proper way to say this is, "I appreciate what people say...."
Because when the first person is the subject of the verb, you use the pronoun "I." I appreciate. Not me appreciate.
When the first person is the object of the verb. you use the pronoun "me." For example, "People appreciate me...." To indicate who people appreciate, you'd never say, "People appreciate I."
Subject (performs the action) > VERB > Object (is acted upon)
"I" > VERB > "me"
So far so good. This rule is so obvious that you almost never hear this mistake.
But when when referring to more than one person, most people get it wrong. For example, I recently watched a video in which an expert in marketing said, "Me and Dean appreciate what people say..." He wasn't accidentally misspeaking. He said it three times.
This is incorrect. You wouldn't say, "Me appreciate..." so you wouldn't say "Me and Dean appreciate..." or "Dean and me appreciate..." The pronoun me is always used as the object, not the subject.
The correct way of saying this is "Dean and I appreciate..."
But the grammar error that bugs me the most is also the most common. People everywhere will say, "He was always kind to Jill and I."
This is incorrect because the subject pronoun "I" is used as the object of the preposition "to." The first person pronoun for an object is "me." It's incorrect to say "kind to I," and so it's incorrect to say "kind to Jill and I."
The correct way to say this sentence is, "He was always kind to Jill and me."
This isn't a judgment call. This has always been the rule, and it still is. Any magazine or book editor knows the difference and will make the correction every time.
And yet, I hear this mistake all the time, even by professionals in broadcasting. It's as if their grammar teachers all taught them the wrong rule. They think that if you refer to yourself along with another person, you have to always use the pronoun "I."
And that's incorrect.
Use "Jill and I" if the two of you are the subject of the verb. Example, "Jill and I never go to the movies anymore."
Use "Jill and me" if the two of you are the object of a verb or preposition. Correct grammar: "To Jill and me, movies are too expensive." Or, "When you find a movie worth seeing, tell Jill and me."
Not tell I. Not tell Jill and I.
Tell me. Tell Jill and me.
INCORRECT - "The comment embarrassed he and his friend." You wouldn't say, "The comment embarrased he." You'd say, "The comment embarrassed him."
So the CORRECT usage is - "The comment embarrassed his friend and him."
You've been informed, as clearly as I can explain it. If you persist in making this gross mistake, I don't care how many celebrities grin in front of the camera and say it wrong, don't make this mistake in my presence, or I guarantee you I'll think you're illiterate.
You can trust me on this one. I'm a doctor.
Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .