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Thread: "I" or "me"?

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    #41

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    May I humbly submit my tuppence?

    Between is a preposition, right? Prepositional complements take the objective (accusative case), and not the nominative case.


    Between [you and he]
    between [you and I]
    between [you and me]

    Is it not as simple as that?
    If between you and I is okay, we have to do two things:

    Either we have to revise the lexical category of "between" (no one did this so far, as far as I know),
    or we have to revise the case assignment rule governing the form of the prep complement (no one did this so far, as far as I know).

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    #42

    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".
    Just in case you are interested, my reason for making use of the terms 'flawless' vs. 'flawed' in preference to the more widely used terms 'formal' vs. 'informal' was simply to avoid the exclusivity implicit in 'formal', which, since its contrary 'informal' means 'appropriate for use only at the informal level', could very easily - and forgivably - be construed as meaning 'appropriate for use only at the formal level', clearly completely inapplicable in the case of the sentence at issue

    They invited me to lunch.

    Since I am unaware of any general-use term unambiguously denoting such 'universally' acceptable sentences - correct and appropriate for all users of all varieties of English at any level of formality whatsoever - I took the liberty of utilizing the term 'flawless'.

    The term 'flawed' thus denotes any sentence not meeting the above-noted criteria for 'flawlessness', and therefore naturally includes any generally categorized as 'informal'.

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    #43

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilki View Post
    May I humbly submit my tuppence?

    Between is a preposition, right? Prepositional complements take the objective (accusative case), and not the nominative case.


    Between [you and he]
    between [you and I]
    between [you and me]

    Is it not as simple as that?
    It is!
    Or, at least, should be...

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    #44

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilki View Post
    Between is a preposition, right? Prepositional complements take the objective (accusative case), and not the nominative case.

    In using the terms 'nominative' and 'accusative case', you are already using terms that are relevant to languages such as Latin and German, but not to English. Apart from the possessive form with 's/'s', English nouns do not have cases.

    Pronouns do have different forms which appear to be often used in a similar way to their Latin nominative and accusative (what about dative?) counterparts. That does not mean that English pronouns have to be governed by Latin rules.


    Between [you and he] .....between [you and I] .....between [you and me]

    Is it not as simple as that?
    If "between you and I" is okay, we have to do two things:

    Either we have to revise the lexical category of "between" (no one did this so far, as far as I know),
    or we have to revise the case assignment rule governing the form of the prep complement (no one did this so far, as far as I know).
    What Huddleston and Pullum appear to be suggesting is that the present 'rules' may be inadequate for current/evolving usage.

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    #45

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by l10nel View Post
    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.
    If A and C are nouns, there has not been a clear way for centuries of avoiding the ambiguity in such sentences in English. We have always had to re-write if we wish to be clear:

    Peter loves Mary more than he loves Jane.
    Peter love Mary more than Jane loves Mary.

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    #46

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    [...] The term 'flawed' thus denotes any sentence not meeting the above-noted criteria for 'flawlessness', and therefore naturally includes any generally categorized as 'informal'.
    Fine. You are, of course, free to use words in any way you please, and to define them as you please. I am free to choose not to participate in a discussion in which the word 'flawed' is defined so that it may be used of a sentence which is categorized as 'informal'.

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    #47

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    What Huddleston and Pullum appear to be suggesting is that the present 'rules' may be inadequate for current/evolving usage.
    Precisely.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilki View Post
    ...
    If between you and I is okay, we have to do two things:

    Either we have to revise the lexical category of "between" (no one did this so far, as far as I know),
    or we have to revise the case assignment rule governing the form of the prep complement (no one did this so far, as far as I know).
    We have to? Says who? This sort of stamp-collecting attitude (' that word goes in this box and this word goes in that box, and the shape and constituion of the boxes and their contents can never be tampered with') is - to use a word that has figured more than once in this sorry thread - ludicrous.

    b

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    #48

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    5jj - wasn't there a reference to a "best if used by" date earlier on?

    The marvelous thing about the English language remains its ability to evolve.

    I live with and speak a language every day that is, officially at least, controlled by a body of ancient men (and ONE woman) - the L'Academie Francaise. For over 30 years I have witnessed the Anglicization of French, precisely because of the stamp-collecting attitude of these old geezers. Rules are rules not to be changed even with the information age staring you in the face.
    Flexibility and change will keep languages independent and alive. Rigidity will drive her into the arms of another man. The only thing we have to do is not say we have to do.

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    #49

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    We must stop meeting like this!
    I agree.

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    #50

    Re: "I" or "me"?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    That 'silly' remark of mine was a general point, not directed particularly (- and I was saying what some other people might think!).

    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.
    Me too (about the cringing).... The way I teach it to my students is to split the sentence into two similar sentences, and see what works, and then combine them again:

    ....concerning my wife....
    ....concerning me.....

    =
    ...... concerning my wife and me.

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