like (1). Today: As a Preposition. The object of a preposition should be in the objective case — you say “They are very much like us,” not “They are very much like we.” Apart from the second person (in which the form remains the same), writers often get confused on this point, as with first-person pronouns — e.g.: “She, like I [read ‘me’], instantly fell in love with his beautiful face, huge blue eyes, unusually soft fur, and gentle disposition.” Patricia Livingston, “New Cat Forced Out but Finds Nice Home,” Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 3 Feb. 2000, at B11. (A suggested improvement: “Like me, she instantly fell . . . .”) The same problem afflicts the third-person pronouns — e.g.: o “We, like they [read ‘them’], thought we were the coolest things on the floor.” Rochelle Riley, “Reunion Means Remembering, Rejoicing,” Fla. Today, 22 Dec. 1998, at A12. (A suggested improvement: “Like them, we thought . . . .”) o “And we, like they [read ‘them’], do so at our peril.” Mike Pence, “Explaining the Appeal of Titanic,” Saturday Evening Post, 1 May 1999, at 40. (A suggested improvement: “And like them, we do so at our peril.”) As the parenthetical revisions suggest, the most natural solution is to open the clause with “like” and keep the subject and verb together {Like me, he agrees}. The awkwardness in the original results from the odd pairing of a nominative and an objective pronoun in what looks like a parallel construction {He, like me, agrees}. Next: “Like” as a Conjunction. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. Quotation of the Day: “The scholar-critic, if he is to succeed in his profession, must generally speaking be more critic than scholar. If you cannot tell good literature from bad, or the better elements in a poem from the less good, your learning is likely to be wasted.” F.W. Bateson, The Scholar-Critic 25 (1972).
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