“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Three Cheers for Reflexive Pronouns

Here's something you don't know about me. I'm waging a war against the loss of the reflexive pronoun.

Me, us, them. Great words, all. 

“Who's there?” “It's ME.” Only someone not well versed in English might say “It is I.”

What is this grammatical inability to see oneself from the viewpoint of not-oneself? I find it disturbing.

“He is smarter than I.” Bollocks. He is smarter than ME. In Latin it's quam plus the accusative, goddamit! But we are reluctant to accuse ourselves of anything.

You don't say “C'est JE” in French do you? You say “C'est moi.” Listen, the day someone says “C'est je” will be the day I evacuate Earth, okay? 

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