I


I
I
1. I, the first person pronoun representing the speaker (or writer), is a shortening of earlier forms ic, ich, ik, etc., and has been written as a capital letter at least since the development of printing imposed uniformity in the 15c.
2. Popular preoccupation with the correctness (or hypercorrectness) of ‘John and I’ (rather than ‘John and me’) as an answer to questions such as Who do you mean? has led to an absurd proliferation of the use of I where me is correct because the pronoun is governed by a verb or preposition. The best known case, between you and I, is discussed at the entry for between (section 5). Other types are shown by the following examples:

• ☒ I think she disapproved of Beth and I, just quietly —S. Johnson, AusE 1990

• ☒ ‘What is it?’ asked Lemprière. ‘Part of you and I,’ said Septimus —L. Norfolk, 1991

• ☒…after seeing you and I lingering over a late breakfast —Chicago Tribune, 1991.

The fallacy of these uses can readily be seen by isolating the pronoun and removing the noun it is paired with in each sentence, e.g. ☒ I think she disapproved of I, just quietly.

Modern English usage. 2014.


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