Back to you and I

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 19 22:14:38 UTC 2010

Use usual, clicking all too quickly. The "exception" post by the
critic is actually quite lovely. Full copy (sans the links) below.

[Dizzy is at]

You and I, I and you. Lots and lots for I to do.

Nov. 10th, 2006 at 10:36 AM

Today in Dizzy thinks there is a heartfelt challenge to the Prime
Minister's poor grammar.

In the register of members' interests Mr Blair has written "following
official talks with the King of Jordan, the King provided return air
travel from Jordan to Egypt for my wife and me".

Dizzy complains,

"Surely "my wife and I"? Maybe Public School education is not all its
cracked up to be? "

Sadly, for Dizzy Mr Blair is of course correct.  And I - Scottish
state school (and consequently in Scottish terms public school)
educated - can only applaud Blair's Scottish independent (or, less
formally, private) school education.  Kingsley Amis diagnosed Dizzy's
view as "hyper-urbanism" in The King's English (p 102) and noted that
"anecdotal impression and published figures tells us that expressions
like "between you and I and the gatepost", a venerable howler, are
actually more used today in speech and writing than the grammatical
version.  The origin here is probably the quite false and truly vulgar
notion that to say (or write) "It's me" is ungrammatical and therefore
to be avoided. Ungrammatical it is, but completely idiomatic, and even
in fun "It is I" is too awful to be tolerated.  [outwith Allo Allo
obviously - landg]  Anyway, the impression lingers in some that "me"
is rather mean and low and uneducated, whereas "I" is dignified,
upmarket and sort of Oxford-accented in itself.  This view of style
might have had the word "stilted" - i.e. on stilts, artifically
elevated - coined specially for it."

ETA Dizzy's blog now has a few comments to similar effect with a
suitably witty reply from Dizzy himself.

On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 5:10 PM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at> wrote:
> OK, may be not so many--7 on Yahoo (including two mixing foreign
> languages), 17300 raw ghits
> And another 15300 ghits for "you and I and the gatepost" and 5 more on
> Yahoo (although one is a critic of the expression).
> Still, a substantial number.
> VS-)

The American Dialect Society -

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