In 1972, a singer by the name of Billy Paul recorded and released Me and Mrs. Jones. Even if you have not heard the song, you might guess that, in the words of the song, “We got a thing going on.”
I’m sure that, when that song was released, both preachers and English teachers were disturbed. Preachers (and anybody else concerned about biblical morality) were probably and justifiably concerned about the open way in which two people who had no right to be meeting were, in fact, doing just that at a designated place and time every day.
English teachers probably pulled their hair out because of at least two phrases in the song. After all, would it have been all that difficult to say “We’ve got a thing going on” instead of We?
There is another phrase in the song, however, that English teachers today might not even notice. It is used a lot. It is used so often that it “sounds right” to many people.
It is still wrong!
I really try not to be a grammar Nazi. I make enough of my own mistakes to keep me from being overly critical of others.
At the same time, I cringe every time I hear “Me and _____” instead of “_____ and I.”
I am afraid that more is being communicated than a lack of understanding of, and appreciation for, the English language. For one thing, I am wondering if there is a subtle indictment of our entire educational system since I have heard college graduates routinely use that phrase.
It seems that I’m hearing that phrase almost everywhere I go. I even hear it when I stay home and turn on my television or radio. I’ve heard educators use that phrase. I’ve heard politicians use it. I’ve heard it from pulpits.
It really doesn’t matter where I hear it; where it is said; or who says it. What bothers me the most is that there seems to be a (probably unintended) elevation of the person using that phrase over any other person in the discussion. If that is the case, it would be just the opposite of the biblical injunction to “…in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3, ESV).
I realize that I make more than my share of mistakes and that each mistake has the potential of hindering my effectiveness as I try to represent Christ and win others to Him. I also know that other subjects are much more import than this one. I just thought I’d weigh in on this particular one at this time.
I’ll save other concerns for a whole nother discussion.
See! I told you I wasn’t perfect either!!
AUTHOR: Jim Faughn
Photo background credit: Wesley Fryer on Creative Commons