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Old 01-09-2007, 11:48 AM   #1
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You are not the boss of me - Grammar help

So my wife and I were talking last night and the phase "you are not the boss of me" came up. I remember being a kid and all the kids would say that. We would always get corrected though and told it should be "you are not my boss" instead.

Well now that I am older and actually care about proper grammar, I would like to know what the reason is behind this. My wife asked me and I did not know. I felt kind of dumb actually because I started to question if it even was wrong or if the adults at the time were just teaching us incorrectly. You are not the boss of me just does not sound right to me ear, but is it actually grammatically incorrect and if so, why?

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Old 01-09-2007, 11:52 AM   #2
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I always say, you're not my boss. Didn't realize that I was incorrect, but, sounds better and more mean that way, LOL
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:55 AM   #3
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Oh TG, what I am saying (as far as I know) is that you are correct to say it the way you are saying it. You are not incorrect from what I know.
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:58 AM   #4
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At the least, it's very non-standard sentence structure for American English.

I have noticed a reluctance to use possessives on TV news as well.
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:14 PM   #5
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Still a possessive in "my boss" though Andy. I think it was more to do with ending with the preposition so close to the end of the sentence.

OK, I SHOULD know the answer to this but I really don't. The only reason I can think of is that saying "you are not the boss of me" implies that they ARE the boss of someone. Whereas "you are not my boss" just suggests that they don't have influence over you. More of an implication rather than a grammatical error IMO.
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:18 PM   #6
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GB, judging by the sound of it, I think it's a silly expression. Silly or not, sometimes such phrases do catch on.
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
Still a possessive in "my boss" though Andy. I think it was more to do with ending with the preposition so close to the end of the sentence...


I meant there is no possessive in the original version, "You are not the boss of me".

I'd love to know why the media avoids possessives. Any idea?
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boufa06
GB, judging by the sound of it, I think it's a silly expression. Silly or not, sometimes such phrases do catch on.
Silly indeed. It was something that kids would say. For instance if a kid told another kid to move out of the way the response might be "No, you are not the boss of me. I am staying right here".
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:23 PM   #9
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Ooooooooooo! Gotcha Andy (clearly working late at night has a serious affect on my mental capacity in the AM *forehead slap*). I'll ask Ken about the possessives in media, but my suspicion is that the news folk are supposed to remain objective and using a possessive indicates a personal opinion. Just conjecture on my part though.
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:35 PM   #10
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I see nothing wrong with the sentence. If you were to change the noun at the end to a proper noun you'll see why. You are not the boss of John, or you are not the boss of that group. All grammatically correct.

You are not my boss, in my opinion, says the same thing as you are not the boss of me, only in less words.

It's not even the word 'me' at the end. Change the sentence....give it to me is correct, whereas give it to myself is wrong.

I've searched my education knowledge...and cannot find how the sentence is incorrect.
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