Pedantics #3

I feel it’s time for a little pedantry. There’s a common error that’s been getting on my nerves for the best part of the last two decades. It rarely gets addressed. It’s something we’ve all fallen prey to, but it’s one of those things that most people don’t notice. In fact, they often make the mistake deliberately, believing it’s correct grammar.

How many times did we hear it as kids? “It’s not ‘Me and Joe are going out to play’, it’s ‘Joe and I‘.” My dad and I. Melissa and I. Mrs Graham’s science class and I. ‘These new shoes and I are not getting along.’ Etc…

And most often the adults correcting us would be right. But sometimes they weren’t. “Can Melissa come out to play with Joe and me?” Adult: “You mean Joe and I.”

NO! She means exactly what she said! It is not always grammatically correct to say ‘so-and-so and I‘. There are places in a sentence where it is emphatically wrong to do so. “Can Melissa come out to play with Joe and me?” is one such example.

‘I’ is a first person subject pronoun. That means it’s used when it’s the subject of a sentence, such as ‘I love my dog.’ The verb is ‘love’, the subject is ‘I’, the object is ‘dog’.

‘Me’ is a first person object pronoun, meaning it’s used as the object of a sentence, such as ‘My dog loves me.’ The verb is still ‘love’, but now the subject is ‘dog’ and the object is ‘me’.

This is true regardless of how many subjects or objects are involved. ‘My cat and I love my dog’ has two subjects: ‘cat’ and ‘I’. Placing ‘I’ after cat is as much for reasons of etiquette as grammar – it’s not polite to mention ourselves first. But when we make ‘dog’ the subject of this sentence, we have to use the first person object pronoun instead of the subject version.

‘My dog loves my cat and me.’

I know people who cringe when they hear this completely correct pronoun use. They’ve been conditioned into thinking ‘so-and-so and me’ is always wrong. Personally, I cringe when I hear ‘My dog loves my cat and I.’ (Argh.) The simplest way to tell whether to use ‘I’ or ‘me’ is simply to remove the other subject/s or object/s of the sentence. If you take ‘my cat’ out of that sentence, it makes no sense.

‘My dog loves I’?

Ha. No. I don’t know about yours, but my dog loves me.

It works the other way too. Take the subject ‘cat’ out of the first example and you end up with the clearly correct ‘I love my dog’. If it had been wrong (‘My cat and me love my dog’), you’d get: ‘Me love my dog.’

Me Tarzan. You Jane.

So let it be known: It is not always ‘Joe and I’. Sometimes it’s ‘Joe and me’. It all depends on the verb and whether the first person pronoun is carrying out that verb or being affected by it.

Bio Schmio

I’ve always found writing my own author bio a strange and awkward task. But now, courtesy of Laura Lam, I find I can generate one at the click of a button! How’s this for pretentious waffle?

My work explores the relationship between Jungian archetypes and UFO sightings.

With influences as diverse as Camus and Miles Davis, new insights are manufactured from both orderly and random textures.

Ever since I was a pre-adolescent I have been fascinated by the endless oscillation of relationships. What starts out as vision soon becomes debased into a tragedy of futility, leaving only a sense of decadence and the prospect of a new beginning.

As subtle forms become clarified through studious and academic practice, the viewer is left with an insight into the undefined of our condition.

In danger of taking yourself too seriously? Anxious at the prospect of constructing several sentences of witty personal summary? Then generate yours here: Instant Artist Statement

The Glittering Cage

Cover for 'The Glittering Cage'

I recently read The Glittering Cage by Richard Ireland. He’s recently released the book on Amazon, and I’m delighted to review it for him.

The book tells the story of Rift, a young man who finds himself in the intricate, beautiful world of Edria, with no memory of his past or who he is. At the same time, in a different part of Edria, Kelly also finds herself stranded in this world, in the palace of the Empress Nia. The difference is, Kelly knows exactly who she is and where she comes from, but has no idea how or why she’s ended up here. She gradually comes to realise that her young autistic son, Daniel, who disappeared and is presumed dead, may also be in Edria. Set against a backdrop of political intrigue and disturbed magic, Kelly sets out to find Daniel. Elsewhere, Rift is learning that something is very wrong with this stunning world and somehow, he’s the key to mending it.

It would be an understatement to say that Edria is richly imagined. The world is almost a character in its own right, shimmering with life, history, mythology, and a menagerie of weird, wonderful, and terrifying wildlife. The book has an almost mythic quality as Rift strives to discover more about himself and the darkness that is corrupting this pure environment. There are various twists and turns along the way, making the plot far from predictable. I found the pace flagged for me now and again, but the overall uniqueness of the story kept it fresh and sufficiently intriguing. The underlying theme of autism (the ‘glittering cage’ of the title) adds an extra dimension that keeps the book grounded in reality despite its sweeping fantasy elements.

Richard’s writing is elegant, smooth, and flowing. Edria’s philosophy is based on intricate themes and powerful imagery and he delivers these with effortless prose. The Glittering Cage is a unique read unlike anything I’ve read in a long time, and certainly fits the bill if you’re after something original.

You can find it here: