Re: English is evolving.. what to do? what to do?

Subject: Re: English is evolving.. what to do? what to do?
From: soundy -at- NEXTLEVEL -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 03:14:34 -0600

In <313CE229 -at- instigate -dot- dataware -dot- com>, on 03/05/96 at 04:53 PM,
Trey Jones <TJones -at- dataware -dot- com> said:

>So, the "you and I" situation exemplified above is easy to describe, and
>turns out to be entirely positional for some speakers (which drives
>Generative Linguists insane, I'm sure, but I'll save *that* for
>LINGUST).. If the first person pronoun comes first in the conjuction, it
>is "me", if it comes second, it is "I".. thus all of the following are
>acceptable:
> John and I are going to the store.
> Me and John are going to the store.
> Do you want to come with me and John?
> Do you want to come with John and I?

Actually, proper useage is far simpler (and more logical) than that:
simply remove the second- or third-person pronoun and see how the
first-person stands on its own. Example:

..I am(are) going to the store. - good
Me... am(are) going to the store. - NOT good

Do you want to come with me...? - good
Do you want to come with...I? - NOT good


>The perceived difference is one of formality, not grammaticallity, with
>the ".. and I" constructions being more formal and polite, or course.
>This change has taken root *everywhere*.. from my 17 year old brother
>(who always says "me and..") to the top execs of the company I work for
>(who always say "..and I")..

My mother always used to correct us when we'd use "Me and..." by saying we
shouldn't say so-and-so is mean ("me and Bob" slurs into "mean Bob" :-)

>Similar circumstances crop up with "who/ whom", which has also picked up
>a distinction based on position, not case.
> Who is it addressed to?
> To whom is it addressed?

>Then there's "there's", which can take singular or plural objects for
>many speakers.

This is obsolete. Our evolving language dictates that there's and theirs
may be used interchangeably. Thus theirs no simply rule for how people
use they're there's.

>And, last but not least, ending sentences with prepositions. Should I
>have said "the top execs of the company for which I work"?

The ending of sentences with prepositions is a one mistake, up with which
I will not put. :-)



Your friend and mine,
Matt
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