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Recently, at McCain's funeral Obama said:

"After all, what better way to have the last laugh than to make George and I say nice things about him to a national audience."

Is it "George and I" or "George and me"?

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The simple way to figure this out is, as Michael said in a comment to another answer, to drop the first part of the combination:

Would it be

After all, what better way to have the last laugh than to make I say nice things about him to a national audience.

Or

After all, what better way to have the last laugh than to make me say nice things about him to a national audience.

This makes it obvious that Obama made a mistake. And that may seem strange, since he is not only a native speaker of English, but he is quite an accomplished user of the language, and an example to many.

So why would he make such a mistake? I think what's going on is a phenomenon called hypercorrection. For quite a while, speakers used to use me in sentences like the one in this question, even when it should be I, resulting in sentences like

*George and me are off to the super market.
*Paul and me failed our exam.

Teachers and other people who insisted that I should be used in these sentences seem to have managed to convince people that the use of me is always wrong, resulting in people overcorrecting and using *he gave John an I a present.

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  • Hasn't this question been asked a zillion times already on this site. Do we want to spread good answers among several duplicate questions, or keep them together under one roof? – Mari-Lou A Sep 2 '18 at 12:26
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Needn't go into nominative/accusative case analysis - the simple test shown is the right one: "Make George say nice things - make me say nice things; make George and me say nice things."

Could've been the modern, and even uglier, "Make George and myself say nice things."

Omarosa had this same issue on a recorded TV program recently. I think the network should have given her an opportunity to correct this, as young people have fewer examples of correct usage.

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It will be George and me.

It would be George and I if it was- George and I do this.

But in this case it is- Someone/something make George and me to do this.

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    Simple method to decide: take out 'George and' - is it 'make me say nice things' or 'make I say nice things'? – Michael Harvey Sep 2 '18 at 11:25
  • You cannot say "make George and me TO do this" because the to is ungrammatical there. Also, please do not use code markup on ELU. That isn't computer code: it's text used as a mention. Those are best set in italic. – tchrist Sep 2 '18 at 13:38

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