Bitch on the Blog

July 29, 2013


Filed under: language — bitchontheblog @ 19:56
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Am on warpath. And you don’t know the half of it. Not even a smidgen.

To vent spleen, yes, at you, Hippo aka Tom in particular since you should know better: Will people stop being pretentious and use ‘me’ instead of ‘I’ when appropriate? Please. Otherwise may condemn you to learn the first page of Julius Caesar’s war (in Latin) by heart. And recite it in front of me and all the friends you thought you had and who will applaud you – at the end.

Want a lesson in grammar? Look no further.

To whom it may concern: Love you too. Don’t apply to be my sub.




  1. Ursula
    U need a gin

    Comment by John going gently — July 29, 2013 @ 22:23 | Reply

    • John,

      I think U misspelled the title. I believe she meant Mwwwwaaahhh!!!

      Comment by Phil — July 29, 2013 @ 22:33 | Reply

    • Funny you should say that, John. I have just woken from a rather odd dream in which someone offered me a large whiskey. Must be all that Taylor/Burton stuff on my mind at the moment. Film buff that you are: No, I won’t watch that new film about them. I cannot imagine that anyone can play Taylor and Burton better than, well, Taylor and Burton. Let me know what you think.

      Other than that I blame one of my toes which I managed to stub, possibly broken, for yesterday’s exceedingly bad mood. And the fact, and there is no getting away from it, that some people, yes, do use I when it should be me. Ask Stephen Fry. Or Lady Bracknell. They’ll both share my indignation.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — July 30, 2013 @ 04:59 | Reply

  2. The lady doth protest too much methinks. ~Queen Gertrude~

    Comment by Phil — July 29, 2013 @ 22:30 | Reply

    • Does she, Phil? Too bad.

      At least one of my middle names isn’t Gertrude. It was a narrow escape.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — July 30, 2013 @ 05:34 | Reply

      • PS As it happens, and nothing to do with the original subject, I once DID have to learn the first page of Bello Gallico by heart – and recite in front of class. It was a sort of punishment. Funny thing is: I loved Latin. So not much misery there then. Translating it was harder.

        By dint of geography French was obligatory where I lived. At age 16/17 we could choose which language to lose (three years to go). Guess what: I chose Latin over English. Now look where it’s gotten me. When, by rights, I should be sitting on Cicero’s knee.


        Comment by bitchontheblog — July 30, 2013 @ 05:49 | Reply

  3. Oh dear….. I was going to quote “The lady…. ” if one r eplced ‘methinks’ with ‘I think’ would one have to transpose the phrase so that ii read” I think (that) the lady…) or would the simple place ment of a comma suffice?
    When I finally vist your neck of the woods shall you and I take a walk around the town? or Will you walk around the town with me?

    One might of course say that, given that Englishis a living and enolving (changing) language it is pretentious to insist upon “correct “usage. The masses tend to use ‘me’ when ‘I’ would be correct, it seems.

    Interesting subject, this.

    Comment by magpie11 — July 30, 2013 @ 08:21 | Reply

    • I’ll walk you round town, have no fear.

      Of course, as you say, language is “living and evolving”. However, grammar rules should not be flouted. Particularly not on the page. On the whole I don’t care much about other people’s mistakes as they are easily made and they hardly matter. However, when someone claims to be well educated then I, by dint of temperament, take a dim view of repeated basic mistakes. By which I don’t mean typos.

      As to ‘me’ and ‘I’ – if the “masses” use me instead of I then fine. You can’t hold against them that their schooling was poor. However, when those who should know better think that I is correct when it should be me, and more often than not it should be, then I will be far more critical.

      You should only flout a rule if you know what’s correct in the first place. I wilfully mix and match bits of more than one language. Sometimes the sound of a word rather than its actual meaning so much more amusing. Thus I will say that I am ‘prawn’ to something. I also, and some may not like it, often use – in my writing – what I call “telegram style”. That staccato of leaving out words. Not just to keep the word count down. So instead of “I threw up this morning” I’ll write “Threw up this morning. Thanks for asking: No, am not pregnant. Or hungover.”

      Then there is the vexed question of the split infinitive. Do I care? No. But then I am not English and can luxuriate in being a foreigner with my own little idiot syn crazies. I am happy to split merrily all over the place. As I have my very own version of punctuation. Pet hate? People who can’t be arsed to either use capitals or a full stop. Inconsiderate, to say the least. Why should I wade my way through some forest of dense undergrowth when I can walk a meadow instead? Who do those people think they are? Fascinating? No. Downright boring.

      Good fun, language.



      Comment by bitchontheblog — July 30, 2013 @ 12:43 | Reply

  4. I offer my apologies for the typing errors above.

    Comment by magpie11 — July 30, 2013 @ 08:23 | Reply

  5. Me is getting commenced. Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur.

    Comment by Looney — July 31, 2013 @ 03:01 | Reply

    • Et tu, Looney?


      Comment by bitchontheblog — July 31, 2013 @ 04:04 | Reply

      • By the way, “we” do handle personal pronouns a bit differently here in San Francisco. There is an example in the following clip from one of your favorites.

        Comment by Looney — August 1, 2013 @ 00:07 | Reply

  6. “Want a lesson in grammar? Look no further.”

    Me hates it when people offer up a stinging critique unsupported by examples.

    Me would like you to give I a few exemples of my mistakes so that me can learn from them.

    Comment by Tom — July 31, 2013 @ 14:49 | Reply

    • Want examples? Don’t worry, Sweetheart. You will get them. Don’t I take time over YOU? Always.

      As you know I think you an accomplished writer. Clearly with enough brain to diffuse mines and stand still when a lion breathes down your neck. Which is precisely why i picked up on something not worthy of you. It’s odd, some sort of perversity of human nature, that those we hold in highest esteem will also be the ones to irritate us the first when they fall short. I come from a school of hard knocks when it comes to anything on the written page. It sort of rubs off a little. I imagine you know what I am talking about since you are a military man.

      To make you understand: I am actually, by nature, pretty laid back. Who cares where the odd comma, the I or me fly. I don’t. However, and this is the crux and maybe you can relate to it: i can’t help, for the life of me, but notice ‘mistakes’. I don’t want to. But I do. I read a quality paper and will, occasionally, need a piece of driftwood to bite on – regardless how well worded and crafted the actual piece is. Naturally, it’s always the subs and proof readers who’ll be blamed. Which is only correct. Are these people asleep on the job? If only I could afford to wear Prada. And, given how I gauge your education, you will agree that there is a joy in knowing what’s right. Obviously, you don’t have to ram it down someone’s throat as I am perfectly able to. My dear Tom, take it like a man. I now need to do what a woman does best, and then I’ll come back and scour your mines. May they not explode in my face or you’ll be short of one fan and commentator.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — July 31, 2013 @ 15:24 | Reply

      • “Clearly with enough brain to diffuse mines”

        Ok U, I will teach you how to spell and you can help me brush up on my grammar. Generally, when it comes to explosive devices, you defuze or disarm them.

        Comment by Tom — July 31, 2013 @ 17:53 | Reply

        • You make my heart sing, Tom: The land mine expert fell into the trap. I don’t lay many traps but when I do they serve a purpose. Yes, diffuse. As opposed to defuse. Sweet. By the way, Tom, it’s spelled/spelt with an ‘s’ not a ‘z’. But then I am not a disposal expert. I just scatter all over the place.

          I am not trying to show you up, Tom. I know you’d hate that. After all, a skirt is a skirt and not all trousers.

          We both know where we come from, so I’ll give it to you straight: Your lack of charm is remarkable. I was wondering how you’d respond to the above response of mine. And I sure had you right. You could have surprised me. But you didn’t. Pity.


          Comment by bitchontheblog — July 31, 2013 @ 18:52 | Reply

  7. I will attach a link to an article which I found today, Tom’s comment is relevant because In some (English) dialects the word I is used in place of me…. for reference I give you words from an old song from Sussex; “Some boots pinch so gie I a shoe.”

    I was amused when I heard Micahel Gove claiming that Shakespeare used standard English Grammar. As I understand it there was no such thing until the arrival on the scene of people liek Dr Johnson…. “eductaed” people apparently insisted that English Grammar should reflect Latin Grammar…..
    AS for myself, I do try to stick tothat which I was taught, or rather absorbed, from the books that I read.

    Comment by magpie11 — July 31, 2013 @ 15:34 | Reply

    • Thanks for the link, Magpie. Followed it just now. Dialect is fine. But dialect is the spoken word. Not the written. To declare my hand: Unfortunately, and I mean unfortunately, I have no ear for dialect. Never shall I forget when (age 10) I visited my newly made friend’s home. Her father greeted me, spoke to me. I didn’t have a clue what he was saying. None. He howled with laughter at my ineptitude. A type of inverse snobbery. And that was ok. Rarely in my life have I have felt more embarrassed.

      As to your second point: For me Latin (and Greek) being the foundation on which a lot of languages are built. A basis. From which we can take flight.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 2, 2013 @ 07:57 | Reply

  8. I’m late to the party, but the problem isn’t “I/me” confusion, the problem is not understanding what “nominative” and “objective” cases are and whento use them. People of my advanced age had the difference drilled into them by long hours of diagramming sentences.

    People who would never dream of saying “Me went to town” still say “Me and John went to town” and people who would never say “Tom gave it to I” still say “Tom gave it to John and I.” The problem, then, if it is a problem, is also inextricably intertwined with compound subjects and compound objects.

    *bowing deeply to prolonged applause from impressed audience*

    Comment by rhymeswithplague (Bob Brague) — August 1, 2013 @ 20:30 | Reply

    • You are my man, the one who rhymes with plague. Wrote a breathless dissertation on cases (all four, leaving the fifth aside). Only to delete it. Because either it’s bred in the bone when those bones are still pliable or you’ll be hard pushed to ignite someone’s enthusiasm over the finer points of language.

      Nice to make your acquaintance, Bob. Hope to see you again.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 2, 2013 @ 05:58 | Reply

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