Lazy

<pet peeve mode>
When I was younger, there was a strong propensity for people of my generation to grammatically misuse pronouns — especially the word “me”. Kids of my generation would regularly make statements with such construction as “Me and him are going to a movie.” Then, of course, somebody’s mother would say, “He and I are going to the movie,” at which point one of us would ask, “Oh, you too?” and laugh. That joke, after all, got better and better even after its 4,700th airing.

Suddenly, sometime around the early 1990s or so, the trend reversed itself. Suddenly little lightbulbs were going off over people’s heads, illuminating the concept that “I”, not “me”, is the proper subject of a sentence.

The only problem is that the success of various trends in public life is inversely proportional to how easy they are to maintain. In this example, it would have taken some work to, y’know, actually learn something new, and thus most people just took a blanket concept of “‘I’ is correct, ‘me’ is wrong” and applied it to their speech. The problem there is that it ignores the fact that “me” is right sometimes.

I rarely, if ever, hear the “Me and him are…” construct any more, but it is amazing how frequently I hear people — and I include highly intelligent, educated people in this — say something along the lines of, “He gave it to Joe and I.”

What the hell? “He gave it to I”?

Yesterday I was wandering the net and came across a comment by “alphaa10” over at CBS’s “Public Eye” blog, saying:

[G]rammar is important. My seventh-grade grammar teacher made my life miserable, but now I must thank Mrs. Peckman for her efforts because grammar in difficult constructions is not always that hard for me.

However, even we who have our grammatical hearts and minds in the right place can and will commit a faux pas, now and then. I also credit pressure of time making perfect grammar all but an unreachable ideal.

Witness this familiar sample from a recent post– “Doesn’t anyone but me oject…?” I can misspell with the best of them, but shouldn’t it be, “Doesn’t anyone but *I* oject…?”?

I agree with his concept here. Nobody, (with the possible exception of this guy), is beyond the occasional grammatical or spelling error, no matter how sharp or well-educated they are; but it burns my butt when somebody explicitly presses the incorrect usage as correct. (I will allow that he seems to be genuinely asking, and not stating as fact.)

So, “alphaa10”, the answer to your question is: No. “Doesn’t anyone but me object…” is the correct grammatical form. Perhaps your confusion is caused by the proximity of the pronoun to the verb. That is, “I object” sounds correct, and would be were “I” the subject of the sentence. In this case, however, the subject of the sentence is not “I/me”, but “anyone”, and the primary verb is “doesn’t”.

For the record, (and I may be oversimplifying the rule here just a bit), the rule regarding “I” and “me” is thus: “I” is used for the subject of a sentence — e.g. “I am going to the movie” — or as the object of the verb “to be” — e.g. “It is I.” In all other cases use “me”.

(I should also note that although it is technically incorrect, constructs such as “It is me” are widely accepted as idiomatic usage. Thus you might simplify further and just stick with AskOxford’s version: “I am the subject of the sentence, but the object of the sentence is me.”)
</pet peeve mode>

Further development here

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