Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time
A couple of nights ago, I lay awake (and exhausted) until 1:00 a.m. watching fabulous (train wreck-like) reality shows I had recorded. (Don’t judge me. I was doing research for this blog. There’s a lot you can learn from reality TV.*) In just one episode of Bachelor Pad I heard: “I think they really trust Michael and I,” “There’s some chemistry between Jaclyn and I,” and “This could be a new beginning for Chris and I.” And once again, I found myself yelling at my TV.
“Me” and the pronouns like it—him, her, us, them—are not bad guys. They’re just objective case. Maybe people think “I” sounds more proper or fancier or something. In the above situations, I blame “and.” Put that one little word in there and everyone’s grammar knowledge goes out the window. It’s like a mind eraser. But I digress.
Most† simple English sentences look something like this:
subject (doing the action) + action + object (receiving the action)
subject + action + object + preposition (“to,” “for,” etc.) + object
In this lesson we’re going to focus on the post-verb, back half of the sentence, OK? Let’s create some simple Bachelor Pad-themed sentences. If you simply use the It Sounds Right Test, I predict you’ll pick the right object 99.9% of the time:
Now, when your object is compound (meaning it has two or more parts) and needs an “and” or “or” or whatever, try it out FIRST with a simple, single object and see what sounds right. Is it:
I think they really trust I —OR— I think they really trust me?
That one’s easy! You know which pronoun to use, so add back in the other parts and you have a nice, properly constructed English sentence:
I think they really trust Michael and me.
I gave roses to Jaclyn and them.
This date card is for Ed and her.
He likes Blakeley and me. (Chris is such a jerk. It’s time for him to go!)
Y’all get out there and use the right pronouns, OK? And promise me that if you’re ever on a reality TV show, you’ll make The Grammar Belle proud. My blood pressure can’t take any more yelling.
*Just last night I learned that surfing and drinking do not mix, you can cook chicken parmesan in 6-inch heels, one of the events at the Redneck Games is bobbing for pigs’ feet, and the Golden Gate Bridge is neither gold in color nor made of gold.
†Most, but not all. Predicate nominatives and the like will be covered later.