Tag Archives: Me and Julio Down by the School Yard

Slang dunk

Here’s a little quiz. In Paul Simon’s song, is “Me and Julio down by the school yard” grammatically correct? The answer: It depends.

This isn’t a post about song lyrics peppered with poor grammar; we’ve already covered that. But let’s take a lesson from me and Julio.

It’s frustrating for us wordies to stand by and witness blatantly bad grammar sliding by as accepted slang. Where are the authorities?

Many parents have given up on correcting children who say “Me and Brittany are going to the mall.” No one is around to apprehend young adults, having graduated from prestigious universities, who say “Me and Justin went out last night.” It seems a lost cause, gone the way of “where are you at?”

That’s because such horrendous violations have gone colloquial. They’re trendy. They’re socially accepted. Some may think they’re cute, but they’re wrong and no one’s doing anything about it.

Assuming anyone cared enough to take this on as a cause, there’s one caution–let’s be careful not to allow history to repeat itself. Many of us learned long ago that “me and [anyone]” is wrong. The truth is that it’s wrong only half of the time. The problem is that some people who took this lesson literally as children are now committing an equally egregious violation as adults. Just as “Me and Brittany went to the mall” is incorrect, so is “She sent the invitation to John and I.” (“Me” is the object and “I” is the subject; it’s that easy.)

I’d like to issue three simple pleas to parents: One, don’t let your babies of whatever age get away with beginning a sentence with “Me and…” Two, don’t let your babies believe that “me” is inherently bad. Three, take the time to teach your children the difference between subjective (or nominative) and objective pronouns. I’d rather hear a kid say, “My Mom took me and Brittany to the mall” (which is technically correct) than “My Mom took Brittany and I to the mall,” which is not.

Still confused? That’s okay. Here’s a place to start if you need a primer. 

Just between you and me, in the context of the song, I think “me and Julio” is correct. We’ll discuss why in the comments, if need be.

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