Me. A simple, two-letter word we learn early in our lives and quickly figure out how to use to our advantage. I’d rank it right up there with “mine!” in terms of its effectiveness for two-year-olds. But lately, I’ve noticed “me” is being ignored by grown-ups. People who, in general, are good communicators are dropping the word “me” from their vocabulary and replacing it, incorrectly, with “I.”
OK, I admit, this is a real pet peeve and one that has pushed me to speak up. One of those nails-on-a-chalkboard situations for me. But people! Fear not the word “me.” Stand up and use it proudly. And correctly, I beg. To wit, “me” is a pronoun, used by a speaker or writer to refer to him or herself as the object of a verb or preposition. This sounds fairly straightforward, but it gets a bit tricky apparently, when someone wants to refer to themselves along with another person as that dreaded object of the verb. As in, “Be sure to copy Mary and I on that memo.” An easy rule to remember: if you remove the other name, would you be using the word “I” or “me”? In this instance, you would say, “Be sure to copy ME on that memo.” Correct grammar would read, “Be sure to copy Mary and me on that memo.”
This type of mistake is becoming so widespread, I feel as though it’s re-writing the grammar books. I BEG of you all, stop it now! In one week, I’ve counted this particular mistake in six different emails. Six! It’s an epidemic!
And on that note, let’s talk about the over-use of exclamation marks in business correspondence…