I don’t know if I’d go as far as calling it “intuitive editing,” but I will say that a lot of what I do as an editor is to follow my instincts about what looks and feels right.
It was when I was researching and writing The Customizable Style Guide for Coaches Who Write that I got more serious about learning or re-learning the actual rules behind my instincts.
And so it really doesn’t surprise me that I sometimes come upon a grammar lesson that I need a refresher on, or maybe one that I never learned properly to begin with!
Sheila Finkelstein caught an error in my blog post about Laurie Foley and Intuition Tuesdays, involving my use of the phrase Laurie and I.
She suggests that if you’re not sure whether to use Laurie and I or Laurie and me, try removing the other person from the sentence to see if it still makes sense.
For example, join Laurie and I on the call would become join I on the call. Well, that doesn’t make any sense! So the correct phrase must be join Laurie and me on the call.
On the other hand, Laurie and me will be discussing would become me will be discussing. So the correct phrase here would be Laurie and I will be discussing.
Thanks for the lesson, Sheila! I have also added this to the Troublesome Words page of the For Readers Only website. Style Guide readers, you’ll find the password to this page in Chapter 26.
Sheila Finkelstein says
Thanks for being so open, Linda, and for the acknowledgment.
I love the way you picked up on the stating “Join I” as a good twist to the whole thing, eliminating all but your final preposition.
It’s interesting to think that many of our rules for grammar might simply be tested by simply playing them out in speaking out loud to see how the words sound. This certainly makes it a lot easier than looking up rules.
I love that you also showed the “Laurie and Me” example, eliminating Laurie’s name. I might try that on my son and grandchildren the next time I cringe and keep my mouth shut when they say “Friend’s Name and me are….” Now how to “play” with it so I’m not making them wrong 🙂
Oh, Mr. (Jack) English (10th grade English teacher 40+ years ago), I’m certain you’d be happy to know your teaching is lasting through the decades!
Linda Dessau says
Thanks again for this great opportunity for a grammar lesson, Sheila!