Monday, April 5, 2010

Breaking Up Isn't That Hard to Do

When I would first start dating someone, I would shave my legs every day, wear a cute little get-up around the house (this old thing?), and pretend I was into things such as watching baseball. My dates always seemed to also love visiting museums and buying me flowers. This would last a month or two and then my sweats would slowly make more appearances to hide my prickly legs and he would want to stay home and watch the game on a Saturday instead of check out the Renoir exhibit at LACMA. Then, disappointment and fights would ensue, and although we would still like each other, we had kind of lost ourselves in the relationship.

What I always recommend in such cases is a good old-fashioned break up. Just a short one. A break up is just dramatic enough to make you ask yourself important questions like “Should I even be here?” and “Is this me?” When you answer these questions, you can come back together in the correct way.

In the same way, we can decide who we are in a sentence with someone else. Are we me or are we I? For example, in the following sentence, should I put an I or a me in the blank?

Jack and ____ love the Dodgers.

The easiest way to decide whether to use I or me, is to temporarily break up with the other person in the sentence. Mentally cross out the other person’s name and the and. Then, read the sentence with I and me to see which sounds correct.

First, we cross out Jack and.

____ love the Dodgers.

Then, we fill in the blank with I and me to see which one sounds correct.

I love the Dodgers. vs. Me love the Dodgers.

We realize that we are no longer cavemen, and therefore, would never say

Me love the Dodgers.

So, the correct sentence is

Jack and I love the Dodgers.

But, here’s where it gets tricky:

I found out that Jack gave his phone number to Jane and ____ the first night we met.

First, we cross out Jane and.

I found out that Jack gave his phone number to ____ the first night we met.

Then, we fill in the blank with I and me to see which one sounds correct.

Jack gave his phone number to me. vs. Jack gave his phone number to I.

In this case, we would use me, so the sentence is

I found out that Jack gave his phone number to Jane and me the first night we met.

On the one hand, Jack and I hadn't started dating yet. On the other hand, it was kind of a sleazy move and the World Series was coming up, which I didn't know if I could handle. So, I decided that Jane could have him. Plus, Dick and Jane has such a nice ring to it. I mean, Jack and Jane. Freudian slip.


SLBTS Alumni Dept. said...

Jean R said...

What an interesting grammar lesson. I really like your approach on this. Your blog is educational, insightful, and hilarious.

Missed Periods said...

@ Jean R

Thank you.

William said...

Hey Jen, what's up? Where's the new grammar bombs?

Missed Periods said...

Hey, William. What do you mean? I've been posting three times a week. But, where are all your haikus? I need a grammar haiku.

William said...

When I clicked onto the link for your blog, this was the latest entry. This sounds like a me problem. Sorry I lashed out at you like that(insert sad faced emoticon here). I think I was drunk.

Grammar haiku you say?

Semi-colon haze
Adjective and metaphor craze
Introductory phrase

Is that what you mean?

Missed Periods said...


That's exactly what I mean. Brilliant!

Joanna St. James said...

thanks for pointing me here, so why do most people say jack and me, they even say it on kids programmes. It irks me to no end.

Anonymous said...

Great idea on the I and me