'For Joe and I' and other reader peeves

 Reader Louise wrote: “My big pet peeve is those who say, ‘It was a great trip for Joe and I.’ … I want to scream, ‘You wouldn't say it was a great trip for I.' It's ‘me’!"

There are several standards of correctness in English. Grammar is one. Idiom, or common usage, is another. A subject pronoun like “I” in an object position is ungrammatical, but you can’t say it’s 100% wrong because it’s idiomatic. Still, to anyone who cares about grammar, it’s bad form. Plus, it’s a minor tragedy because people who say “for Joe and I” usually choose “I” because they’re trying to be grammatically correct — and failing. To get these right, follow Louise’s model: Try the sentence without the other person: “A great trip for I” is clearly wrong, so that’s how you know the most grammatical choice is “It was a great trip for Joe and me.”

Reader Mike is peeved by the phrasing “where is it at?” “It grates like fingernails on a chalkboard,” he writes. Over the years, a lot of people have told me they feel the same way. As an editor whose job is to delete needless words, I understand their reaction. The “at” at the end of “where is it” is unnecessary. But unnecessary isn’t quite the same as being wrong, exactly. Consider “where is it at” to be a casualism that rubs a lot of people the wrong way.

Meanwhile, Reader Sherry wrote to ask about people who use “so fun” instead of “so much fun.” Reader Katie doesn’t like when people who’ve been asked “How are you?” respond with “I am well.”  And Reader Dick thought he spotted an error in my column. Read how I answered them all in my recent column.

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