I have just read something written by one of the world's most famous writers. As a gentleman, I shall not give her name.
"They were advised that the Metropolitan Police had not found any information that concerned my husband or I in the data that ...."
This sentence is contained in official testimony given to a parliamentary committee that is investigating naughty behavior of some British newspapers.
How could she have made such a horrific mistake? (Especially since her books are devoured by young people!)
Thank you very much, Moderator Bhaisahab. That sentence, however, was not extemporaneous. It was part of a carefully written document that she apparently then read to the committee. As you so wisely said, we must be very understanding of her. (I am feeling much better now. When I first read it, I thought that I would have a heart attack. I guess it's a good lesson for learners such as I: even experts make mistakes.)
It's perhaps a case of hyper-correction. Many people have had 'me and my brother went to ..." corrected to 'My brother and I went to ...' so often that some begin to feel that '... and I' is the only possible thing to say/write all the time. As bhai mentioned, this writer might also have been under stress at the time.
There is also the point that popular writers are not necessarily sticklers for the finer points of grammar.
Finally, I would guess that at least half of the native speakers of BrE would not be aware of anything wrong with what she said. If it were pointed out to them, some would not care and others would simply feel that the person pointing it out was being rather silly.
Thank you very much, Moderator Bhaisahab, for your comments. You are a true
British gentleman. We must, indeed, give the lady the benefit of the doubt. If anyone is interested, she or he (I don't have the courage to simply say "he") can find the lady's testimony on the Guardian's website. (In the "Media" section.) When you read the statement, it is obvious that it was carefully prepared.
Personally, I cringe when I hear/see something like 'it concerned my husband and I'. As an observer of language, I accept that many people consider it unobjectionable these days.
As to the 'carefully prepared' statement - yes, it probably was. And no, they didn't notice the 'I'. You and I are getting past our 'best-by' date, Parser.
JK Rowling should definitely have known better than that, Key Member TheParser.
We have the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language to thank for this particular piece of idiocy (among others), which endeavours to argue for the 'correctness' of between you and I and the like on the basis of a ludicrous analogy with abbreviations...
Last edited by philo2009; 25-Nov-2011 at 06:13.