The shame of “me”


Whatever happened to the poor little pronoun, “me”? It seems everyone is ashamed of it and is trying to get away from it as quickly as possible. But “me” is just an object: picture something falling on it (i.e., acting on it) and that’s “me.”

I hear people saying all the time, “It was supposed to be just between you and I.” But “between” is a preposition and takes an object. So the correct form is “it’s between you and me.”

I also often hear people saying “Her and I went . . .” What is your friend the object of? What is acting on her? Nothing. In fact, she is doing the action: she is going somewhere. So “She is going . . .” or “She and I went . . .”

We don’t seem to abuse the pronouns “we” and “us” that way. Are we ashamed of ourselves only? Feeling braver when we act in the plural? I never hear anyone say, “It happened to we.” So why does it have to be “It happened to [her and] I?”

Shame on I! Shame on we!

The Grammar Grandma

About Nancy

Nancy Hoffmann began studying Zen Buddhism in 1992 and has dedicated this site to meditating on what she sees and believes. She is not averse to sharing laughter as well.
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