Do you want to lose a potential client because your blog posts show you have bad manners?
Do you want to lose a potential client because your blog posts 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 a potential client might cross an agent off their list for breaking these basic rules of etiquette and grammar.
Every now and then, in a real estate blog post, I see a “manners and grammar” mistake that sets my teeth on edge.
It goes like this: “Me and my clients” used as the subject of a sentence. It 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?”
So… first the manners.
Aren’t we taught from pre-school years to always state the other person’s name first?
Yes – it’s just good manners. So in these examples it would be correct – and polite – to say “My clients and…”
But then… the word “Me.”
“Me” is an object word – never a subject word. Use it after words like for, with, to, before, or after.
When you yourself are the subject of the sentence, the word to use is “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.
I have a neighbor who brags about his vocabulary and grammar skills all the time – and he ALWAYS says “For I.” (I have to bite my tongue SO hard to keep from correcting him.) He doesn’t say it by itself like that. He says things like “The kids sent a beautiful gift to my wife and I.”
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 goes after I. Ourselves goes after we.
I don’t watch much TV and I’m fed up with political speeches, but happened to walk through the living room recently when the President was speaking in some foreign country. He was thanking their leader for his hospitality and said “I want to thank (whatever his name was) for his hospitality, not only to myself but to Michelle and my children as well.”
I couldn’t believe it. Horrible grammar and bad manners to boot. Don’t his writers know better?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net