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go. Properly, Let's go-i. e., Let us go, or, Let you and me “He is as good as me
: say, as I.
“ She is as tall as him": say, as he. “You are older than me": say, than I. “Nobody said so but he" : say, but him. “Every one can master a grief but he that hath it”: correctly, but him. "John went out with James and I”: say, and me. “ You are stronger than him”: say, than he. “ Between you and I”: say, and me. “ Between you and they”: say, and them. 'He gave it to John and I”: say, and me. “ You told John and I”: say, and me. “He sat between him and I”: say, and me. “He expects to see you and I”: say, and me. “You were a dunce to do it. Who? me? " say, 1. Supply the ellipsis, and we should have, Who? me a dunce to do it? “Where are you going? Who? me?" We can't say, me going.
“ Who do you mean?” say, whom. “Was it them?” say, they. “If I was him, I would do it”: say, were he. 'If I was her, I would not go”: say, were she. “Was it him ?” say, he. “Was it her?” say, she. “ For the benefit of those whom he thought were his friends”: say, who. This error is not easy to detect on account of the parenthetical words that follow it. If we drop them, the mistake is very apparent; thus, “ For the benefit of those whom were his friends.”
“On the supposition,” says Bain, “ that the interrogative who has whom for its objective, the following are errors : who do
take me to be?' 'who should I meet the other day?' 'who is it by?' 'who did you give it to?' 'who to?'
who for?' But, considering that these expressions occur with the best writers and speakers, that they are more energetic than the other form, and that they lead to no ambiguity, it be doubted whether grammarians have not exceeded their province in condemning them.”
Cobbett, in writing of the pronouns, says: “When the relatives are placed in the sentence at a distance from their antecedents or verbs or prepositions, the ear gives us no assistance. · Who, of all the men in the world, do you think I saw to-day?' Who, for the sake of numerous services, the office was given to. In both these cases it should be whom. Bring the verb in the first and the preposition in the second case closer to the relative, as, who I saw, to who the office was given, and you see the error at
But take care! 'Whom, of all the men in the world, do you think, was chosen to be sent as an ambassador?' Whom, for the sake of his numerous services, had an office of honor bestowed upon him.' These are nominative cases, and ought to have who; that is to say, who was chosen, who had an office."
“Most grammarians,” says Dr. Bain, in his Higher English Grammar, “have laid down this rule : ‘The verb to be has the same case after as before it.' Macaulay censures the following as a solecism : 'It was him that Horace Walpole called a man who never made a bad figure but as an author.' Thackeray similarly adverts to the same deviation from the rule: ““Is that him ? " said the lady in questionable grammar.'
But, notwithstanding this,” continues Dr. Bain, we certainly hear in the actual speech of all classes of society such expressions as 'it was me,'' it was him,' 'it was her,' more frequently than the prescribed form.* *This shy creature, my brother says, is me'; 'were
I'd show him the difference.'-Clarissa Harlowe. 'It is not me t you are in love with.'-Addison. •If there is
* If this is true in England, it is not true in America. Nowhere in the United States is such “questionable grammar as this frequently heard in cultivated circles.
+ “It may be confidently affirmed that with good speakers, in the
one character more base than another, it is him who,' etc.Sydney Smith. 'If I were him'; 'if I had been her,' etc. The authority of good writers is strong on the side of objective forms. There is also the analogy of the French language ; for while 'I am here'is je suis ici, the answer to who is there ?' is moi (me); and c'est moi (it is me) is the legitimate phrase-never c'est je (it is I).”
But moi, according to all French grammarians, is very often in the nominative case. Moi is in the nominative case when used in reply to “Who is there ?" and also in the phrase "C'est moi,” which makes “It is /" the correct translation of the phrase, and not “ It is me.” The French equivalent of “I! I am here,” is “ Moi ! je suis ici.” The Frenchman uses moi in the nominative case when je would not be euphonious. Euphony with him, in speaking, is a matter of more importance than grammatical correctness. Bescherelle gives many examples of moi in the nominative. Here are two of them: “Mon avocat et moi sommes de cet avis. Qui veut aller avec lui ? Moi.” If we use such phraseology as “ It is me," we must do as the French doconsider me as being in the nominative case, and offer euphony as our reason for thus using it.
When shall we put nouns (or pronouns) preceding verbal, or participial, nouns, as they are called by some grammarians-infinitives in ing, as they are called by othersin the possessive case ?
“I am surprised at John's (or his, your, etc.) refusing to go.' 'I am surprised at John (or him, you, etc.) refusing to go.' [In the latter sentence refusing is a participle.] The latter construction is not so common with pronouns as with nouns, especially with such nouns as do not readily
case of negation, not me is the usual practice."-Bain. This, I confi. dently affirm, is not true in America.-A. A.
take the possessive form. “They prevented him going forward': better, ‘They prevented his going forward.' 'He was dismissed without any reason being assigned.' 'The boy died through his clothes being burned.' "We hear little of any connection being kept up between the two nations.' • The men rowed vigorously for fear of the tide turning against us.' But most examples of the construction without the possessive form are OBVIOUSLY DUE TO MERE SLOVENLINESS. . . . 'In case of your being absent': here being is an infinitive (verbal, or participial, noun) qualified by the possessive your. 'In case of your being present': here being would have to be construed as a participle. sessive construction is, in this case, the primitive and regular construction ; THE OTHER IS A MERE LAPSE. The difficulty of adhering to the possessive form occurs when the subject is not a person : ‘It does not seem safe to rely on the rule of demand creating supply': in strictness, 'Demand's creating supply.' 'A petition was presented against the license being granted.' But for the awkwardness of extending the possessive to impersonal subjects, it would be right to say, “against the license's being granted.' 'He had conducted the ball without any complaint being urged against him.' The possessive would be suitable, but undesirable and unnecessary.”—Professor Alexander Bain.
Though the ordinary syntax of the possessive case is sufficiently plain and easy, there is, perhaps, among all the puzzling and disputable points of grammar, nothing more difficult of decision than are some questions that occur respecting the right management of this case. The observations that have been made show that possessives before participles are seldom to be approved. The following example is manifestly inconsistent with itself, and, in my opinion, the three possessives are all wrong : 'The kitchen, too, now begins to give dreadful note of preparation ; not from armorers accomplishing the knights, but from the shopmaid's chopping forcemeat, the apprentice's cleaning knives, and the journeyman's receiving a practical lesson in the art of waiting at table.' 'The daily instances of men's dying around us.' Say rather, ‘Of men dying around us.' The leading word in sense ought not to be made the adjunct in construction.”—Goold Brown.
Casualty. This word is often heard with the incorrect addition of a syllable-casuality—which is not recognized by the lexicographers.
Casualty is frequently misused for accident. Accident, contingency, and casualty, according to Crabb, all imply things that take place independently of our intentions. Accidents are more than contingencies, and casualties have regard simply to circumstances. Accidents are frequently occasioned by carelessness, but casualties are altogether independent of ourselves. We are all exposed to the most calamitous accidents; our happiness depends upon many contingencies; the best concerted scheme may be thwarted by casualties that no foresight can prevent.
“This deformity has the same effect in natural faults as maiming and mutilation has from accidents." —Burke.
“Men are exposed to more casualties than women, as battles, sea voyages, with several dangerous trades and professions.”—Addison.
Celebrity. “A number of celebrities witnessed the first representation.” This word is frequently used, especially in the newspapers, as a concrete term; but it would be better to use it in its abstract sense only, and, in sentences like the one above, to say distinguished persons.
Character-Reputation. These two words are not