By Rocky Reichman
How many times have you picked up the phone and answered, “It’s me?”
All of us have, at one time or another. But what if you knew what you were doing was wrong? Not in an illegal or unethical
way, but in terms of grammar?
Saying “It’s me” is incorrect grammar. The right way to speak (or write) is “It is I.”
What the floccinaucinihilipilification? Sure, at first glance many of you reading this must be thinking I’m
berserk. But this Grammarnator is right. “It’s me,” or “It is me” is not a grammatically correct
sentence. Why? Because when you answer “It’s me,” the subject of that very short sentence is me (talking
Let me repeat that: Me is the subject of the sentence, not the object. The difference between these two parts of speech
means everything. When you yourself are the object of a sentence (as in, “He threw the ball at me,”),
then me is the correct word to use. But when you are the subject of the sentence, you always refer to yourself as I
(as in, “It is I”).
Why do so many people refer to themselves incorrectly? The problem stems from the popularity of the word Me. Indeed, in today’s
world it’s often about us: Me, Me, Me. And the word I doesn’t make matters better, either. “It is
I” sounds clunky, and strange. How often do you say “It is I” yourself? If you did, people would either
look at you funny or think you had too big of an ego.
Saying “It is I” instead of “It’s me” isn’t such a big deal. “It’s me”
has become so popular that it’s changing the rules of grammar a bit. But don’t get me wrong: Grammar dictionaries
still wage war against misuses of Subjects and Objects, so they still denounce “It’s Me.” But the day will
come soon when even grammar sticklers (except for the Totalitarian Grammarian--he sticks to tradition no matter what) will
start to accept this phrase as one of their own.
Besides, I bet grammarians would answer “It’s Me” on the phone too! Try calling one of them (not me, please).
See if they’ll slip up.