I'm contemplating some shifts in the coming year. A big one is whether I will begin to take on some freelance editing projects.
I've been hesitant to do this for one reason. Taxes. I live in a city that deals with self-employment income differently than other kinds of wages. It's a biggish step to do more than an occasional freelance job. There's an upfront cost to register any business venture in Philadelphia--a somewhat steep one.
Happily, I found an inexpensive two-hour workshop on small business taxes in the city. So I hope that once I have a handle on what's involved, I can make an educated decision.
Meanwhile, I continue to receive Editor-on-Call questions. Here's the latest:
I said to my mother, "Because I am me." She corrected me and felt I should have said, "Because I am I." Who's right here?
I gotta be me
(aka Jessica Dimuzio, author of Bark, Bark, Bark for my Park)
Dear Gotta Be,
I'd say it depends on context. The rule is that the verb "to be" acts like an equal sign and the second pronoun should be subjective (I, she, he, they), not objective (me, her, him, them).
BUT it sounds like a pretentious over-correction to say "I am I." The grammar sites I checked all had ongoing arguments. "I am me" is using the word "me" to refer to one's ego. Or at least that's how grammarians today think of the phrase. (Whether one should think of one's ego as some kind of discrete entity is a larger philosophical issue that's more my husband's area of expertise as a philosophy professor, but I digress....)
The fact is, we don't have a singular entity making pronouncements on the purity of English like the Académie Française in France. English's strength is its flexibility and skill at keeping up with the times. This is one of those cases where the rules are in flux and what was once considered correct is passing out of ordinary use.
She is right to the letter of the law; you are right to the current standard of speech patterns.
Any of you self-employed? How big a headache are tax issues? Which of the sentences Jessica mentioned sounds best to you? Do we need a guardian of pure English?