Me, My Grammar, and I

So I’ve noticed this trend in movies and TV shows lately. And by lately, I mean over the past few years. And it’s not a good trend.

Do you remember when you were a kid, and you would say something to your mom like, “Me and Bobby want to go to the park.” And your mom would respond, “Bobby and I, not me and Bobby.”

I remember. And it was a good thing because saying “Me and Bobby” in that case was grammatically incorrect. However, the massive emphasis on this grammar issue children often commit seems to have pushed back too far. Nowadays, people appear to be so afraid, so wary, of using “me and” or “and me” in any context, even when it would be grammatically correct.

This is the trend I am seeing in film and television, more so with television.

Consider the following sentence:

Mom drove Bobby and I to the park.

This sentence is grammatically incorrect. Yet, I constantly hear characters in shows and movies making this exact mistake. I find myself muttering at the TV “Bobby and me.” The proper version of this is, “Mom drove Bobby and me to the park.” But people (mainly writers and speakers) are so afraid of using “and me” because of the aforementioned childhood correction.

So what is the difference between these two situations? Well, ‘I’ is used as the subject of the sentence, while ‘me’ is used as an object. “I want” is a complete sentence, with the subject ‘I’ and the verb ‘want’. For “Bobby and I want,” both ‘Bobby’ and ‘I’ are the subjects. With “Mom drove me,” ‘Mom’ is the subject, ‘drove’ is the verb, and ‘me’ is the object which the verb is acting upon. For “Mom drove Bobby and me,” both ‘Bobby’ and ‘me’ are objects being driven (acted upon by the verb ‘drove’)

So how do you know when to use ‘I’ or ‘me’ in these situations?

It’s simple, really: forget the other person.

What do I mean?

Reconsider the sentence:

Mom drove Bobby and -?- to the park

Now, forget about Bobby. The sentence becomes

Mom drove -?- to the park.

How would you finish this? Would you say, ” Mom drove I to the park” or “Mom drove me to the park”?  Me, right? Well then, if you add Bobby back into the equation, it shouldn’t change.

How about

“Bobby and -?- want to go to the park.”

Forget the other person,

“-?- want to go to the park.”

Of course, the answer is ‘I’, since you would say “I want to go to the park.” Adding in Bobby shouldn’t change that.

So, writers of film and television: Follow this guide. Stop perpetuating this grammatical error.


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