Or… do you want to lose a potential client because your blog posts and spoken words show you don’t know the basic rules of grammar?
I didn’t think so.
I’m being picky again… Sorry, but I do think some potential clients might cross an agent off their list for breaking these basic rules of etiquette and grammar.
Some rules of etiquette we learned (hopefully) as small children. They included things like remembering to say please, thank you, and you’re welcome; never talking with our mouths full; and mentioning the other person first in conversation.
And yet – every day we see “professional” adults who have forgotten these basics. One of the worst offenders is talking on the phone while chewing. Just because people can’t see that the speaker’s mouth is full doesn’t mean they can’t hear it.
Another common offender is the growing habit of saying “No problem” instead of “You’re welcome.” A nice alternative might be “It was my pleasure,” but “No problem” indicates to me that it WAS a problem – or at least an inconvenience.
Then there are those who say or write things like “When I and my clients …”
But that gets worse. Sometimes they combine the bad manners with bad grammar, and say “When me and my clients…”
This one reminds me of high school, when I used to hear “Me and John went to the movies Friday night.” It was usually spoken quickly, so it came out as “Mean John went to the movies.” People would look at me strangely when I’d ask “What makes John so mean?”
“Me” is an object word – never a subject word. Use it after words such as for, with, and to.
When you (or you and someone else) are the subject of the sentence, use the word “I.”
“My clients and I arrived early and found …”
Would you say “Me arrived early?” Two year old children say “Me want cookie,” but then they (hopefully) learn better.
If you aren’t sure whether to use “me” or “I,” simply omit the other person. Then read it and listen to how it sounds. Just as you wouldn’t say “My client referred a friend to I,” you wouldn’t say “Me toured a beautiful home on Sunday.”
At least I hope not.
In the meantime… just remember: Never begin a sentence with the word “me” unless you’re talking about the word itself. For instance: “Me is an object word.”
And… never use I as an object. I is a subject.
And then there’s “myself.” Myself is a reflexive pronoun, used when you say something like “I wrote this letter myself,” or “I scolded myself for that mistake.” Myself refers back to you, so it goes after I, whether I is stated or implied.
So please, don’t say “If you have questions, call myself.”
Image courtesy of sattva at FreeDigitalPhotos.net