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"If the evidence changed… isn't that me, who’s dead?"

or is it

"If the evidence changed… isn't that I, who’s dead?"

2 Answers 2

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By traditional, pedantic grammar, with verbs like "be" and "become" you would use "I", not "me", because the pronoun is not an object of the verb nor governed by a preposition.

But today this tends to be confined to the most formal registers; in everyday conversation "I" would sound stilted, whereas "me" is relatively neutral.

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    There is no pedantic grammar as you so painfully call it, there is just grammar. As there is no prescriptive English grammar but just descriptive, rules are given the opportunity to change so, without too much speculation, the 'I' rule will become obsolete with the passing of time. Aug 6, 2015 at 12:02
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    Dude, different registers of the language use like slightly different grammars, amirite? Among other differences, they differ in how readily they embrace change. I don't think calling some of those grammars (and habits of thinking about grammar) traditional or pedantic is out of place.
    – hemflit
    Aug 6, 2015 at 12:55
  • @hemflit you are correct. It seems Joost is under the impression that language is monolithic and static.
    – Yeshe
    Aug 6, 2015 at 12:59
  • @Yeshe If you managed to read carefully, you would have seen that I say exactly the contrary of your silly comment. Aug 6, 2015 at 14:50
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    @JoostKiefte You seem to be trying to pick a fight with someone who's arguing against prescriptive grammar by, erm, arguing against prescriptive grammar. I think Hemflit's using the term in a phenomenological way. Perhaps that isn't what your trying to do. If so sorry :) Aug 7, 2015 at 3:49
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"If the evidence changed… isn't that me, who’s dead?"

You similarly would say, "were you talking about me?" rather than "were you talking about I?". I don't know an official rule but generally you can say "I" in statements (I like cake), but should use "me" to refer to your self in questions (is that cake for me?).

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  • That's because the function is different: the cake (subject) is for me (object), so it could never be 'I'; the same goes for 'were you (subject) talking about me (object)'. Aug 6, 2015 at 11:56
  • That is what me was saying (statement). Do you not understand I (question)? You could say "I am dead." but "Me are dead." is gibberish.
    – Yeshe
    Aug 6, 2015 at 13:07
  • Gibberish, indeed. Everybody knows it should be 'me is dead', and besides, if you were dead it would be a trifle difficult to talk. But we should not let a biological little nicety like that prevent us from having a very intelligent and frank exchange of views, should we now? Aug 6, 2015 at 14:45

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