English verb forms do not generally tell us who has the active voice. So English uses both subject and object pronouns. I, you, he she or it, we, you and they, are subject pronouns. Subject pronouns are me, you, him, her, it, us, you, and them. I hope I got that right.
Thus you say 'I met him' and not 'me met he'.
People generally can cope with correct use of subject pronouns when there is a single subject: eg 'I saw her.' But when the subject is plural, confusion reigns. 'She and I saw him' becomes 'Her and me saw him'
'Him and me took it'. 'Her and him go out together'.
Strangely enough, you don't often hear 'Us went out'
You cannot talk or write thus, for example, in Italian. The verb form tells you who the subject is. You don't need to use the subject pronoun. You can, but only for additional emphasis.
My daughter used to say " Me and Tracey' and I used to correct her each time, 'Tracey and I...' But it did not seem to do much good. The grandchildren make these same mistakes now.
The confusion between subject and object pronouns now seems endemic in fiction. Me remembers encountering it in Tracy Crisp's Black Dust Dancing and it made I wonder whether her wrote this deliberately or whether it was a genuine error. Now I keep coming across it all the time, the latest encounter being Ruth Rendell's novel The Vault. Verisimilitude, that how the people talk these days.
Don't teachers teach grammar any more?
Although I froth privately from time to time, I am provoked to write about this today because of an interview I listened to yesterday, on the ABC, with the excellent Margaret Throsby interviewing an economist, the journalist Jessica Irvine. Irvine is moving across from Fairfax to News Limited,which is a bastion of rather conservative values, and which employs a lot of people who want proper grammar taught in schools. (As do I.) She writes well, and clearly, and takes many examples from our everyday lives to make her points about economic conditions and theories. However, during the interview, although in many ways expressing herself clearly, she overused the expression 'sort of'. I was sufficiently provoked (or needing distraction from the nitty-gritty of my present existence) to listen again today to the podcast of the interview.
I did not manage to list all her uses of 'sort of', but there were more than 40. She did it so often that my innate pickiness was provoked, and perforce I took note.
Sort of every economist I know.
Sort of heart swelling music.
The central sort of lessons of economics
I've sort of given the example
Sort of satisfaction, well-being.
We sort of follow habits...
This has sort of been the big advance of economics
We'd much rather sort of buy a $100 pair of shoes.
We have sort of become a slave to the mortgage.
They make their money by sort of making losses.
It occurred to me to sort of put to them
A mathematician who sort of runs the numbers (!)
To work sort of through the High Commission
I'd sort of been at Belco High in Canberra
Political economy is sort of a different way to study way economics
To sort of view economics as a social science
Adam Smith is sort of where it all began
Societies sort of arrange themselves to the benefit of individuals
Corrupt sort of Wall St bank
A piece of sort of electronic music (and I thought it was was excruciatingly boring)
Sort of sound fixing board
I've sort of got this theory
It's sort of a spoonful of sugar
Economics sort of tells you how..
I'm sort of excited...
And as for the disappearance of adverbs in spoken English, well, words fail me! However, I may yet rise to the occasion. Angrily and grumpily, but accurately and, I hope, convincingly.