I’m………And I Approve This Message

There was a nice little article in the Times this past weekend about Scott Stringer, the Manhattan borough president.  It seems Mr. Stringer and his girlfriend, Elyse Buxbaum, are getting married.  But the essence of the article was to report that they will not be getting married in New York  but rather in Connecticut.  This heretical move (after all, he is the Manhattan borough president) is intended to make a statement in support of their gay and lesbian friends who cannot enjoy the same right to marry in New York State that the couple has.  I applaud them for their symbolic act.

But that’s not really what I’m writing  about.  You see, somewhere in the middle of the article, Mr. Stringer is quoted as saying, “This gives Elyse and I a chance to take personal responsibility.”  Not, “this gives Elyse and me” but “Elyse and I”. Come on Scott!  Use your kepi! Would you say, “This gives I a chance……”.  Of course you wouldn’t.   So why get so addled when you add Elyse’s name?

   My reaction to reading that sentence  was somewhere between hearing nails on a chalkboard and  being waterboarded.   If you’re a blog reader, you know that I’ve tackled this subject before.  (see: https://ironicman.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/me-myself-and-i-2)/) That posting  cost me quite a few friends and has made me  re-think my attitude re: being a hard-ass about grammar rules.  So now, the pacifist part in me thinks that as long as the thought is communicated, what does it matter how it’s phrased.  That’s a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, my pacifist part is  very, very tiny.  Extremely small.   It’s still a struggle  not to wince when I hear or read the I/me thing misused.   So, I’ve decided to create a double standard…one for public officials and another for everyone else in my life.  I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect elected officials to use proper grammar.  For example, how many of us would want President Obama saying something  like, “Me and Michelle  pray for our troops overseas.”  We had a president who spoke like that and it turns out he ran up a huge  deficit, deregulated too many industries, tarnished our international reputation and got us into several horrible wars.  There may not be a connection between his poor grammar and those events, but why take a chance?  To the rest of my friends and acquaintances who are not elected officials,  I hope you’ll continue to speak freely and with abandon.

But, getting back to Mr. Stringer.   I’m not sure exactly what the duties of a borough president are and I’m certain he or she  can’t get us into another misbegotten war,  but given his poor grammar,  I’m not convinced that I any longer want to entrust any borough welfare to Mr. Stringer. So, I’m thinking of running against him in the next election.   On the Grammarian ticket.  But, I’m not sure where or how to begin the process.  I guess I’d have to get a certain number of signatures to get on the ballot.  Probably need to find out exactly what the job entails.  Brush up on some city politics.   Maybe take a public speaking course.  I suppose I’d also have to  ask someone to host a few fund-raisers.   And then, there’s that business about me not actually living in Manhattan.  Wow, this is getting complicated!  On second thought, maybe I’ll just ask Scott to go for a drink and we can go over some simple rules of grammar.    Just he  him he and me I.  I mean, just the two of us.

The Happy Couple


4 Responses to “I’m………And I Approve This Message”

  1. charniejean Says:

    me really enjoyed this one.

  2. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    I too

  3. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    charniejean and yduj…

    i appreciate the kind words. although you two represent an amazingly small statistical sample, i’ll assume you speak for minions out there who are too shy to write (or have stopped reading the blog)

    an aside…in my research for the posting i realized that, if the writer/speaker can somehow use “you” (instead of me, I, he, him, etc.), you can’t go wrong. it’s the same word for subject and object.
    of course what you’re saying/writing might make no sense…but at least it will be grammatically correct.

  4. “Dead Men Tell No Tales” « Ironicman's Blog Says:

    […] lost quite a few friends in discussing the “me “vs. “I” thing.  (See: https://ironicman.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/im-and-i-approve-this-message/).  But, there may be some vindication. It seems  that no less an authority than a cartoonist for […]

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