View Poll Results: Which would you use?

Voters
324. This poll is closed
  • Not I

    96 29.63%
  • Not me

    149 45.99%
  • It depends [please explain...]

    79 24.38%
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Thread: Not I

  1. #11
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    The OED calls 'not' an adverb. The more I think about the term 'paticle', the less I like it.

  2. #12
    Phospheratu is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Not I

    This could be either, depending on the circumstance.

    Q: To whom did she give the answer?
    A: Not me. (She did not give the answer to me.)

    or

    Q: Who will bell the cat?
    A: Not I. (I will not bell the cat.)
    Last edited by Phospheratu; 10-Feb-2006 at 00:20.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Not I

    Excuse me, finally which is the right answer, I'm really confused by all this explanations..

    So, If we use both, isn't wrong???

  4. #14
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Not I

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post

    According to traditional grammarians (Prescriptivist), linking verbs such as forms of 'to be' (is, are, was, were, etc.) link the subject with its complement. Complements refer back to the subject so they are considered 'nominative' (subject) in form. Which means, pronouns coming after the linking verb 'to be' should be nominative in form: I, she, he, we, they. For example,

    But, keep in mind, those examples are based on what Prescriptivists would advise. As for Descriptivists, they'd point out that "me" is more popular these days than "I". The reason being, the pronoun comes after the verb which is a position reserved for objects, and hence speakers tend to choose "me" over "I" in that context.
    I think this makes it sound as if there was something to the prescriptive rule, Casiopea. It was wrong from the get go, penned as it was using Latin as a guideline.

    Language rules are not simply a matter of popularity. Just because Latin deals with something in a certain manner [using the nominative in predicative complements] doesn't mean that English must follow that rule.

    English is English and Latin is Latin and never the twain shall meet, though they might pass each other in the night.

  5. #15
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Not I

    Quote Originally Posted by Isra View Post
    Excuse me, finally which is the right answer, I'm really confused by all this explanations..
    So, If we use both, isn't wrong???
    Both are right, Isra, and both are in common use in English.


    "... the nominative form I ... belongs to (very) fromal style, while accusative me is neutral or informal."

    [CGEL at page 9]


    Results 1 - 10 of about 5,780,000 English pages for "it was I".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 2,400,000 English pages for "it was me".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 1,240,000 English pages for "it was she".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 4,970,000 English pages for "it was her".

  6. #16
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Not I

    Out of interest, Riverkid, how are you excluding non-complements from your googles?

    For instance, a simple google on "it was I" brings up cases such as:

    1. A solemn thing it was, I said.

    2. I didn't know what it was. I mean, it could have been as a result of the building collapsing...

    Similarly, "it was she" brings up e.g.

    3. She lived her life the way - she wanted to live it. Was she upset that she wasn't up on the Hill?

    4. It took her just under an hour to do whatever it was she did.

    While "it was her" includes e.g.

    5. Specialist Sabrina Harman, one of the accused MPs, testified that it was her job to keep detainees awake

    MrP

  7. #17
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Not I

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Out of interest, Riverkid, how are you excluding non-complements from your googles?
    For instance, a simple google on "it was I" brings up cases such as:

    I made no attempt to exclude non-complements, Mr Pedantic. I didn't do a simple google. I did an "with the exact phrase" search. Admittedly they aren't perfect, but they clearly indicate that these are very common collocations.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  8. #18
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Not I

    Yes, they are very common; but if you look at the first three pages of the "exact search" on "it was I", for example, you'll find that 10 out of 30 (at most) relate to "It was I" in the sense "it was me".

    MrP

  9. #19
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Not I

    How about this:

    "I have to fire someone today."

    "Not me, please."

    This is not idiomatic. I don't want to be the object of the firing. "Don't fire me, please."

    Also, I've always thought of particles as prepositions that were pressed into service as idiomatic and superflous adverbs:

    Start up your engine.
    Flatten out the newspaper.

  10. #20
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Not I

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Yes, they are very common; but if you look at the first three pages of the "exact search" on "it was I", for example, you'll find that 10 out of 30 (at most) relate to "It was I" in the sense "it was me".
    MrP
    Well then, if we use that as a guideline

    5,780,000/3 = 1.9 million or so English pages for "it was I".

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