Grammar Lesson of the Day: Pronominal Case.
I watch a lot of Saint Louis Cardinals baseball games, and though the broadcasters are splendid fellows who know the game and are a delight to listen to, whenever they utter a sentence in which two pronouns appear as objects, they get them wrong. Oh for the days when only somebody putting on hoity-toity airs would say, “Oh, darling, it was such a trial for Beauregard and I, you’ll never know!” That was what grammarians call being hyper-correct; you overcompensate for your felt deficiency in etiquette or eloquence, as if Granny Clampett at a party were to offer “horse doovers” to the ladies from the Daughters of the American Revolution. Actually, she probably wouldn’t do that. She was too genuine for that. She’d probably offer them hog jowls or possum steaks, against which they would turn up their aristocratic noses.
The grammatical rule is simple. Pronouns take the case determined by their use in the clause in which they appear. Nothing is changed when we add another clause, or when we append a noun or a name to the pronoun. So:
Mr. Egbert saw me stealing his prize rabbit.
Mr. Egbert saw me and Frank stealing his prize rabbit.
Mr. Egbert saw Frank and me and Bobby stealing his prize rabbit.
All of these are correct. Some people say that etiquette demands that the proper noun come first, but grammar knows nothing of that. Aw, to hell with etty-ket! Meanwhile, these are plain absurd:Mr. Egbert saw I stealing his prize rabbit.
Mr. Egbert saw Frank and I stealing his prize rabbit.
The same thing applies to pronouns that precede a relative clause. The additional clause changes NOTHING:
I have just received a message from she. (Absurd)
I have just received a message from she who must be obeyed. (Absurd)
I have just received a message from her. (Right)
I have just received a message from her who must be obeyed. (Right)
Then I heard him say, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” (Right)
Then I heard him who was seated upon the throne say, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” (Right)
Then I heard he who was seated upon the throne say … (Absurd)
Rule of thumb: mentally omit the extra material. Unless you really wish to lapse into absurdity:
“Do you really love I?” asked the Lady Cyclops, batting her eyelash.
“Duh, of course me do!” said him.