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The Abomination of
Predicate Nominative Pronouns

A couple of examples of the use of predicate nominative pronouns are "This is she," or "It is I" rather than "This is her," or "It's me." Such use is presented as good or formal English but it is not English at all. It derives from applying a rule that is valid for Latin in English where it does not apply.

Thus the formal grammarians foisted a rule from Latin on English and convinced people that "This is she" is proper. It is not proper English; instead it is Latinized English. "This is her" is real English and likewise for "It is I" versus "It's me." The proof is obvious from the pronoun they.

Imagine a gathering where someone wants to know if Mr. and Mrs. Smith are there. No English speaker can bear to say, "That is they over by the salad bar" rather than "That's them over by the salad bar." If the use of they as a predicate nominative is wrong then so is the use of I, he and she as predicate nominatives. However after generations of brain-washing and browbeating by the formal grammarians their use now sounds almost right although a bit stilted. But the brain-washing and browbeating by the formal grammarians does not extend very far from the expressions "This is she," and "It is I." What fluent speaker of English would say "That is he." There is probabily a gender difference, most males would not say "This is he." They would say "That's me," or "Yo!"

The basis of the use of the predicate nominative is that words connected by forms of the verb to be are not only equal semantically but also grammatically. That might be true for Latin and it does seem to be logical but it is not true for English. Languages obey their own logic. The stilted use of predicate nominative pronouns is not proper English; it is some sort of mongrelized English. It is just as mongrelized as if the formal grammarians insisted that the sentence "I am that person," should be "Me am that person," or "Me be that person."

The real abomination is that now often people are substituting I, he, she for me, him her in other places where they are incorrect. It seems to be some generalization of the notion that if "It's me" is wrong then in other places where me, or her or him are used and sound right, they must also be wrong. For example, people are saying such things as, "They bought dinner for Joe and I" when they would not say, "They bought dinner for I," because it is obviously wrong. By creating doubt concerning people's intuition in one linguistic area the formal grammarians are creating doubt about the intuition of fluent speakers of English in other areas,

We who love the real, natural English should point out to anyone that uses the stilted predicate nominative pronouns that they are not real English but mongrel English. Languages are spontaneously evolving systems and the attempt to force a rule from Latin on English is having the unintended consequence of inducing people to make gross grammatical errors. Thus not only are the predicate nominative pronouns wrong, they are perniciousoy wrong.


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