Please don't be afraid of "me"!

It’s a familiar scenario:

Child: “Me and my sister played a game!”

Buzzkiller Pedant Adult: “My sister and I”, you foolish child, not “Me and my sister”!

I have a feeling most of us have been on the receiving end of some such rebuke, leading to an unwarranted fear of the word “me”. People just don’t seem to want to use the word, avoiding it wherever possible. For example, people commonly say things like this:

He spoke to my sister and I

Just contact myself or another member

Both of the sentences above are crying out for a “me”! E.g.

He spoke to my sister and me

Just contact me or another member

In the first sentence, if my sister weren’t involved, we wouldn’t say “He spoke to I”, which demonstrates why this usage is wrong.

The second sentence demonstrates the growing misuse of the word “myself”. But what is motivating it? I reckon it’s a phobia of the word “me”. What do you think?

1 Like

I’ve found that to be a common phenomena - people learn a rule and focus just on the rule but not where it is supposed to be applied. Then they end up using it in inappropriate places. It used to happen often in my math teaching experiences too.

So people don’t really understand that “John and me” should be “John and I” if its the subject of a verb, but “John and me” is perfectly correct as the object of a verb.


Indeed, yes, although I’m still convinced it’s even more than that—an actual fear of using “me”, because we’ve learned to think of it as “sounding wrong”. Perhaps it also other negative connotations, like being a “me-first” kind of person—or in other words, a selfish person.

List of Subjective, Objective, and Possessive Personal Pronouns

Whilst i agree in principal i think it is also to do with politeness. By putting the other person before you it is acknowledging them above yourself.

If i was talking to a client i would probably use ‘I’

James, Sue and I will be attending the meeting on Tuesday

Just sounds better than

Me, James and Sue will be attending the meeting on Tuesday

But going to the pub on a friday i’d probably use me

Me, James and Sue are heading to the pub, are you coming?

If i can i try and follow the Queens English and refer to myself as ‘one’ so i’d answer the above question as

One has to politely decline the invitation to the drinking establishment on this occasion. One has a prior engagement.


1 Like

Thanks for your comments, although you’ve sort of missed the point. In that example, “me” is completely ungrammatical, and I wasn’t suggesting anyone replace “me” for “I” indiscriminately. :slight_smile:

I’m a little confused as my example is pretty much the same as the first example you gave except i had 1 extra person

Child: “Me and my sister played a game!”
Buzzkiller Pedant Adult: “My sister and I”, you foolish child, not “Me and my sister”!

If it were 2 i’d still say

James and I will attend the grammar debate

if it was in a business manner rather than

Me and James will attend the grammar debate

or did i miss something?

the very idea of me debating grammar at any level would make a few people laugh :slight_smile:

Yes, sorry, I see what you are saying. Perhaps my first post wasn’t clear enough. In the first example, the kid was indeed wrong. I was just suggesting that because we sometimes use “me” incorrectly, we’ve somehow gotten the idea that we should never use “me”, which is a mistake. It would never be correct to say “Me and James will attend the grammar debate”, or “Me and my sister played a game!”

ah i see.

hahaha well i am sure i have said ‘me and…’ more than a few times :slight_smile:

But then i am from the West-country (a rural part of England) so i think i am exempt from correct grammar


This topic was automatically closed 91 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.