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May 14, 2009
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To me “Yesterday I text him” has the same feel as “Yesterday I paint the house.”
I am surprised at how many have said that the sound of “Yesterday I texted him” makes them cringe; I don’t understand why. Having skimmed the entries, above, I didn’t notice anyone explaining why this makes them cringe, either. Perhaps someone will, and my mind will be changed, though.
I have provided evidence, evidence with which you even agree. “I” is the nominative, “me” is not. “It is I” is the proper response to situations requiring a nominative response, or when making a nominative declaration (eg, “Don’t be afraid: it is I”). “It is me” is not nominative. Improper pronoun usage can be found all over the place (“Me and him went to the store,” “Us neighbors had a barbeque,” etc.), and people get the idea. If those cases are used enough, dictionaries will start to cite them as common usage, so that people reading the dictionary will have explained to them what it is that they are looking up. But that will not change the accurate statement that those pornouns are incorrect, just as using “me” as a noninative pronoun is. My dictionary handles this case in the following fashion. “also used as a predicate complement with a linking verb, although the usage is objected to by some.” This does not, of course, contradict the fact that “me” is frequently used as if it were nominative.
It’s not that I don’t believe—for I do. But the reality that there are situations where “It is me” is readily accepted does nothing to establish that it is proper. There are vast numbers who readily accept “I seen it,” or “I been there,” but this in no wise establishes either as a proper sentence under any circumstances. It doesn’t surprise me that anyone can cite examples of its use. But the question is whether it is proper, not whether there are this quantity or that of individuals who either do not know the difference, or who, knowing the difference, choose to use an improper sentence to use in a given circumstance. I myself, knowing better, use improper grammar deliberately. (For instance, I usually use “This is me” to keep from derailing the conversation at hand.)
I am perfectly willing to believe that “many native speakers are guilty of poorly formed thought every time they speak,” given the boneheadedness I witness every day all around me. But when I said that, I was more addressing the question of why we think of these things—in general—rather than the specific case of “This is me“ v. “This is I.” I would agree that that would be ridiculous—if that were the only criterion contemplated. It is valid to at least contemplate grammar, though.
There is no place where the proper answer to “Who is this?” is “It is me.” The question requires a nominativce answer; “Me” is not nominative. This just doesn’t happen to be a dialectual distinction.
I guess I would say that the topic is broad enough to include both social and language issues. Each case would be distinctive, some more socially oriented, some more associated with grammar, dialect, etc.
Examination of the historical use of the two letters “OK” indicate otherwise, wishful thinking that things are otherwise notwithstanding.
What is most revealing is our never ending compulsion to gauge and judge others by their use of language.
Language is a representation of thought. Poorly formed language indicates poorly formed thought. True, sometimes that apparent indication mistakenly apprehended, such as when the language is not the native language of the speaker.
We use all manner of indicators to evaluate the people around us in a variety of categories. This is not necessarily snobbery; it might merely be developing a “profile” of the person so as to choose a communication style that will be best received—I speak differently to teenagers and pentegenarians.
Equally proper, but equally poorly received is “It is I,” rather than that which most would say, “It is me.” Yet, “It is I” is the proper statement of the two.
There was one earlier, and unrelated, use of “OK.” March 23, 1839, C.G. Greene, editor of the Boston Morning Post used “O.K.” as if it were an abbreviation for “oll korrect,” a facetious mispelling (being all incorrect) of “all correct.” (Webster’s New World Dictionary, 3rd college Edition, (c) 1988, Simon & Schuster, Inc.)
“OK” is now the most common thing to say in the whole world...
The way this would be taken by me would be that the mother causes the child to be like the parent throught the transformative process of wishing—“Wishes” being a transitive verb. (But even then, to be a complete sentence it should be “My mother wishes my child to be like me.”)
I believe it should be “My mother wishes for my child to be like me.” To wish for something would not be taken as transitive.
“...why would someone ask for my ‘Street Address’ when they really want my ‘Mailing Address’?”
For the same reason they give you ¼" for your 3-digit area code (0.083" per digit), but 5½" for your 5-digit zip code (1.825" per digit): Rank incompetance in creating forms.
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