It was ‘I’, Now It Is ‘Me’!

Since my highschool days, I have always been confused about the usage of ‘I’ and ‘me’ when they are used as nouns. In grammer tests, there are always both options: It is I and It is me. Although ‘It is I’ does not quiet well and correct to me, I would choose this option for the sake of grammer. However, in any movies or TV series, I have hardly heard this usage. You just naturally say ‘It is me’. So, what should we do? Even though we know the correct usage, should we continue saying ‘It is me’ or should we accept the flexibility of English and replace it with ‘It is me’? I have read an article via ‘La Rassegna del traduttore’ on Facebook. On a blog called Sesquiotica, this issue is dealt with in a very funny and interesting way. I will post some points that interest me but you can always read the whole article by clicking the link at the bottom:

“There’s an old joke: St. Peter hears a knock at the Pearly Gates. He says, “Who goes there?” A voice replies, “It is I.” St. Peter says, “Go away! We don’t need any more English teachers.”

For who other than a hard-core grammatical prescriptivist would say “It is I?” And would even the driest English teacher (not that that many are that dry anymore), arriving with others (I was about to type “friends,” but it’s hard to think that such a person could have any left), say “It is we”? Or, on the other side, answering the door, say “It is they”? I have seen “It is he,” it’s true, but…

But no one in normal English speaks that way. Not even the well-respected, highly educated people. So we’re all wrong, then? What’s with this, anyway?

There are some problems with this reasoning. First of all, when you draw up the rules for a language, it helps if they actually describe what the language actually does, as opposed to enforcing practices that are quite different from what established usage is.

Second, language is not math. Or, more precisely (since one may construct a mathematical language), English is not math.

Third, English is not Latin. Many of prescriptivists’ ideas, such as this one, are derived from and/or supported by appeals to Latin grammar. ”

For the whole article, click here.


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