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Thread: "I" or "me"?

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    #21

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by l10nel View Post
    Thanks! I understand that "formally flawed" here refers to "formality" level. But my question was, does this grammar define/mention a sentence as being formally flawed because it isn't acceptable in the formal style (e.g. legal)? I couldn't find this notion in the conceptual index. I'd be surprised if this descriptive grammar describes an informal construction as "flawed".
    I have to admit that I have not yet read every word in The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language but, like you, I would be surprised if they used 'flawed' in this way. Actually, I don't know any grammarian who uses 'formally flawless' in the way that philo defined it.

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    #22

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    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.
    It makes me cringe too. And so do some hypercorrect usages I get to hear in Polish, from my fellow Poles. I do not want to look down on those people people but I do. And I think I'm not the only one.

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    #23

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    [QUOTE=birdeen's call;827975]It makes me cringe too.


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) I think that some native speakers vaguely remember that their teachers taught them to say "It is I" and "You are smarter than I."

    (2) Thus, they get the "feeling" that they should say things such as:

    "Remember: this secret is just between you and I." (In other words, the word

    "I" is considered more prestigious than the lowly "me.")

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    #24

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Unfortunately, we'll have no problem finding more and more instances of hypercorrection. Another example that comes to mind is saying "The problem is is that..." due to unthinking, indiscriminate application of the correct form "What the problem is is that...". As a non-native speaker, I deplore the degradation of English this way. Grammatical rules don't exist just for fun and to inflict pain; they exist to make clear communication possible.

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    #25

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by l10nel View Post
    Unfortunately, we'll have no problem finding more and more instances of hypercorrection. Another example that comes to mind is saying "The problem is is that..." due to unthinking, indiscriminate application of the correct form "What the problem is is that...". As a non-native speaker, I deplore the degradation of English this way. Grammatical rules don't exist just for fun and to inflict pain; they exist to make clear communication possible.
    I don't think saying "between you and I" hampers communication. I don't remember having trouble understanding a person using this misconstruction. It just sounds wrong to me. But as one thread I started recently shows this means little. However, in this case, there are many other people who dislike this particular way of saying things. And I think this is why it should be avoided.

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    #26

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by l10nel View Post
    Grammatical rules don't exist just for fun and to inflict pain; they exist to make clear communication possible.
    I have been with you so far, but we part company here. 'Rules' are simply a record of what observers have noted to be generally the case at the time in which they were working. At various times some people have even invented rules, such as the ban on split infinitives, or the ban on ending sentences with prepositions. They have had their day, and their day has passed. In this forum we tend to say what is generally accepted today. In fitty years time, students of language may look back at our posts and laugh at how hidebound we were. Their day will also pass.

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    #27

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    If you are basing some of your argument on such ideas as 'I don't know if you're eligible' being formally flawed, I see no point in continuing the discussion.
    I don't see why. It most certainly is flawed by the lights of the definition offered!

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    #28

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by l10nel View Post
    I can't seem to find a definition or mention of the notion of "formal flaw" in this grammar.
    I have nowhere suggested that they do use this term!

    I have made use of it (and defined it most carefully) in this particular case in order to highlight one of a number of weak points in their reasoning process.

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    #29

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I have to admit that I have not yet read every word in The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language but, like you, I would be surprised if they used 'flawed' in this way. Actually, I don't know any grammarian who uses 'formally flawless' in the way that philo defined it.
    You don't need to. You need only understand the word in the context of my argument in the way in which it has been defined!

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    #30

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    The examples in this discussion aren't good at illustrating why grammatical rules contribute to clear communication. One example that does is:

    A loves B more than C.

    A consciously assigned case to C (nominative vs accusative) helps the reader determine whether A loves B more than A loves C or A loves B more than C loves B.

    If it becomes less and less important in standard English to assign a case to C, the ellipsis after "than" will be ambiguous (hence bad for communication) and we'll have to forgo it and write a longer sentence to express the same idea.

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