I or me, which will it be?

Grammar is an interesting thing, really. For those of us who make a living from our knowledge of the written word, it becomes apparent that there is a time and a place for proper, by-the-book grammar, and an equally valid time and place for bending the rules to connect with your audience. That being said, I think it's important to know what's correct and what isn't. I mean, I may choose to use the word ain't for emphasis in the right context, but I should at least know it isn't going to fly at a business meeting.

So, I want to share with you today a grammatical error I hear all the time, and one I think the majority of people don't even realize is wrong. It has to do with the pronouns I and me -- and when it's best to use each one. Let's look at an example:

Wrong: My friend gave the tickets to James and I.

Right: My friend gave the tickets to James and me.

The difference comes down to who's doing the action (subject) versus who's receiving it (object). In this case, the pronoun is an object, so it should be me. A good rule of thumb is to use your thumb and cover up the names and conjunction that come before the pronoun and see if it makes sense. In other words, you wouldn't say "My friend gave the tickets to I" -- you'd say "My friend gave the tickets to me." Easy, right?

Below is an example of when the pronoun is the doer, or the subject. In this case, I is the correct pronoun. Use that thumb again to cover up "James and" -- you wouldn't say "Me went to the store." You'd say "I went to the store."

And there you have it, an easy way to remember when to use I and when to use me. Most of the time, even difficult grammatical concepts can be made simple. You just have to know the tricks, or hire a professional. 

Zambon Creative is here for all your copywriting, editing, proofreading and strategic marketing needs.

Zambon Creative is Born

Thirty-two years. That's how long I calculated I had been working with no breaks (other than the standard couple of weeks' vacation each year). It was a defining moment, as I sat in my cubicle tallying it all up. Had I realized at 15 that I would have the rest of my life to work, I might not have been in such a hurry to enter the workforce. But then again, my solid work ethic is a big part of who I am, and I wouldn't take anything for all I've learned on every job -- good and bad.

Fast-forward to now. In the six weeks since my defining moment, I gave three weeks' notice and resigned from my job, started my own creative services company, and I got married -- not necessarily in order of importance. Now, I'm embracing a new chapter in my life, one where I get up each day excited about what's in store. I am a creative. I've been a square peg trying to fit into the round hole of corporate and agency life for far too long. It's time I afforded myself the opportunity to work in the schedule and environment that are the best fit for me. Translation: I can work in my PJs and fuzzy slippers from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. if I want.

The American work culture is unfortunately so focused on butts in chairs and hours on the clock, we've lost sight of what's truly important: quality. When you're empowered to do your best work without being micromanaged, something really cool happens: you DO your best work. It ain't rocket science, but for some reason, it eludes most of today's upper-level management. But, I digress.

So, all that being said, I'm happy to announce the birth of my latest baby: Zambon Creative. I'm here, ready to create. Put me to work.