Sunday 1 July 2012

I-not-me terrorism from DfE test

And here's even more mind-bending crud:

10. Complete the sentences below using either I or me. ['I' and 'me' bolded in the original]

____ pulled out the keys from my pocket.

She asked ____ to help her put up the pictures.

My team and ____ are playing next week.

Why isn’t anyone able to understand what ____ am trying to do?

I had to help with the washing up before Dad would turn on the 
television for ____. 

Consider: 'My team and ___ are playing next week.'

What?! When, in heaven's name would you say, EITHER 'my team and I are playing next week' OR 'My team and me are playing next week'?! The example is gobbledegook. You would usually say things like:

The team I play for are playing next week.
We're playing next week.
You know that team I play for? We're playing next week.
My team are playing next week.

Why would I say both 'my team' and 'I' (or 'me')? If I'm in the team then I'll be there, won't I? And I'll be playing! Sheeesh!

Then, the pedantic forcing that this should be 'I' is not a matter of right and wrong any more. Yes of course, technically because the person in question is the 'subject' of the sentence it 'should' be 'I'' but in actual fact, with ever-increasing informality in English, the 'me' form is used in this 'function' in a sentence by most people outside of one particular layer in society.

In fact, anxiety about 'I' and 'me' means that many people have started being what is known as 'hypercorrect' ie wrong, by saying 'I' when technically we're supposed to say 'me' eg 'It's between you and I'. People have come to think that 'me' is vulgar' and 'I' is good even when they're breaking the 'rule' that they think they're being particularly careful to be obeying. This is how grammar teaching easily terrorises people into changing their speech when they don't need to.