Monday, February 24, 2014

Suject* (for Subject* or Sujet*)

During a grammar spot on Sunday Morning yesterday, Bill Flanagan tried to set the record straight on the vexing subject of "I versus me." He quoted a few solecisms involving the use of "I" as an object ("Are you coming to the movie with Madonna and I? Won't you join Oprah and I for dinner? The Trumps are throwing a party for Barack and I") and added: "It's embarrassing! At least people who mess up the other way—'Goober and me are going to town'—sound folksy, colloquial, down-to-earth. But people who say 'I' when they should say 'me' sound like they're trying to be sophisticated and they're getting it wrong." A former country bumpkin myself, I still employ the occasional hayseed-ism too, whether intentionally, ironically, or even rather cluelessly. (Although I think I might be inclined to prefer "Me and Goober" over "Goober and me" for some odd reason.) But it's like that old Beatles song says: "I me mine, I me mine, I me mine." I before M, people ... alphabetical order, the easiest mnemonic in the world! So remember now, it's "I before ME, except after..." Well, there are some execeptions, actually, but this is an object lesson we're being subjected to here. We found 48 cases of Suject* (for subject* or sujet* in French and Spanish) in OhioLINK, and 1167 in WorldCat.

(Photo of Andy Griffith and George Lindsey from The Andy Griffith Show. This is the "talking dog" episode where Goober believes he's found a dog that can talk and tries to convince everyone else of it. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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