Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Does This Mustache Make Me Look Like Hitler...?

Okay, guys, I'm sorry. I've tried, and I just can't take it anymore. I have--I have to be a grammar nazi for a minute.

I'm not picking on anyone specific here, I promise. And if this is a mistake that you make when you blog, tweet, journal, check in, or otherwise put your mark on the internet, we can still be friends. But I've noticed this particular grammatical pitfall in a good half-dozen places in the past few days, so...

When you're talking about yourself plus another person, we were always taught that using "me" is wrong. "Sami and me went to Ohio." This is wrong--it should be "Sami and I went to Ohio." However, it's not ALWAYS wrong! Observe:

Samantha and I stood by a river

CORRECT: Because if you took Samantha out of the picture, it would read

I stood by a river

Now, let's try this one.

Sami and I, standing by the river



Well, if you take Samantha out of the picture, here's what you get.

I, standing by the river


Instead, it should be

Sami and me, standing by the river

Because when you take Samantha away again (Poor Samantha, she must be getting whiplash by now...)

Me, standing by the river

So you see, depending on how you construct your sentence, sometimes saying "me" is actually the correct way to go! It just depends on the context.

But no matter what you do...let the other person go first. It's never "Me and Sami" or "I and Sami." After all, manners manners! ;)


  1. Can this post please be published to the world? Wait--it's on the internet so it is. Okay then, can everyone read and take note?
    (And while you wear the Nazi mustache, can its vs it's be up next? Also, if you don't put an apostrophe in HIS, don't put one in HERS. :-) )
    Thanks for the great post.

  2. Katie, you are my hero! This grammatical error drives me crazy--I even thought of doing a blog post about it (using the "take the other person out of the sentence" bit, to boot), but never got around to it. Thanks for helping teach the English how to speak, as it were.

    ~"Wild Rose"~

  3. This drives me crazy too! Thank you for posting! I love your explanation and photos.

  4. This is absolutely my biggest pet peeve!!! Yes, I give instructions just like this to everyone I know. So, now I am not the only one doing this. Thanks!