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Me, I like jogging

Discussion in 'English Only' started by johngiovanni, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. johngiovanni

    johngiovanni Senior Member

    I would be grateful if people could let me know whether they think the sentence "Me, I like jogging" or "I like jogging, me" is acceptable in English, and how I might explain this use of "me" to someone learning the language.
  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    Grammatically this is called dislocation. That's when a noun phrase occurs outside the core of the sentence, and is referred to by a pronoun inside it: 'My brother, he likes jogging'. It's quite common in speech in all dialects, I think. But it's very rarely encountered in writing, so learners probably aren't as aware of it as they should be.

    However, in the case of right dislocation, the pronoun 'me' sounds very dialectal, not standard (I always think of Sid the Sexist in Viz); but a fuller noun phrase sounds normal: 'He likes jogging, my brother.' I haven't got a name for the longer version where the 'tag' noun phrase is accompanied by an auxiliary, which only occurs on the right: 'He likes jogging, my brother does.'

    The following doesn't seem to work for 'does', but the 'tag' auxiliary can also be inverted: 'She's very beautiful, Sally is' = 'She's very beautiful, is Sally'.
  3. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    "I like jogging, me" is completely unnatural to me, and does not sound like anything a native speaker of American English would say.

    "Me, I like jogging" would make sense ONLY if it followed a description of what other people liked:

    My brother John likes to swim to keep in shape, and my brother Tom thinks the best way to stay fit is to play racket ball three times a week. Me, I like jogging.

    I would understand this to be a shorthand version of As for me, I like jogging.
  4. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    Why is it "me"?

    For my money, it is because there is a very strong tendency to use the "subject" pronouns only when they are closely associated with a verb.

    She is bigger than me and She is bigger than I am are normal spoken English. She is bigger than I sounds affected.

    Who's that woman over there?
    Her? She's my aunt.

    In response to "Joan loves chocolate", you could hear "So do I" or "Me too", but definitely not "I also".
  5. johngiovanni

    johngiovanni Senior Member

    Thank you for the responses so far. I agree that one would tend to find it more in spoken English than written English, and I would also expect this construction to come after, or possibly before, a description of what other people liked. "Me, I like jogging, but Sarah over there prefers skiing." It also seems to me to add emphasis. I think the connection with "Me too" and "As for me" is clear. I am interested in getting some impression of how regional this is. As someone born and raised in the Midlands and now living in the North West of England, I am used to both the left and right dislocations of "me". (Thanks also for the term "dislocation"). I would be interested in knowing whether GreenWhiteBlue would find "myself" at the end of the sentence instead of "me" "natural" in AE.
  6. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    As am I, speaking as someone born and raised (and currently living) in Merseyside.
    There's a good article here on right-dislocation in English hosted on a Durham university site (also North England).

    To cite the relevant example:

    So the same pattern can be seen here.
    There's a great article on OxfordJournals.org about "Tails of linguistic survival" which deals with North West England (specifically Bolton) and has many many examples of this tail-construction.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  7. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    As am I, speaking as someone born, raised, and currently living in Lancashire. Dislocating is as natural to me as not dislocating.
    That said, it's one of the few things I have trouble with when I'm writing speech: "This is going to look weird written down ... English speakers who don't do this will think I've gone doolally:("
  8. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    These sentences tend to look odd in writing, so I'll add a couple of realistic-looking examples with better context, to show that they're often about topicalization, not contrastive emphasis. I'm hoping these sound natural in all spoken varieties, not just BrE:

    This guy I know, he's got this amazing collection of old theatre posters.

    But Mike just works out straight away how to open it. He's a very clever guy, my brother.
  9. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    An extract from the article I mentioned before:

    For anyone that wanted to find out more information by the other names this has been called in the literature, I've bolded them, but I also wanted to point out what the author said in the conclusion:

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  10. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    I've heard sentences of the type "I like jogging, me" (from Lancastrians, as I recall; I get visions of Les Dawson when I say this to myself), but I wonder if they work with other pronouns.
    "We like jogging, us", anyone? :confused: I somehow think not.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  11. johngiovanni

    johngiovanni Senior Member

    Thanks to everyone for the responses, and to Alxmrphi for the interesting extract. Me, I'm really enjoying this discussion!
  12. mr cat Senior Member

    English - England
    I'm afraid you would hear this in the NE of England!
  13. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    Oh, I don't mind being wrong. I've learned something.

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