Dramatic, Grammatical Denial
By ice rivers
Yeah, I take 'em personally.
Especially when it comes to grammatic, dramatic denial.
Someone mistook Robert Mitchum for Gary Cooper when seeking an autograph.
Mitchum had quite a few responsive choices. Here are the two most obvious.
I'm not him.
I'm not he.
As there is no direct object in either example, Mitchum can't go with the objective pronoun "me" unless there's a preposition in the sentence which there is not.
By the process of elimination then...option 2...C'mon down.
I'm not he by default except....
I'm stands for I am.
Am is a verb of being
A verb of being is a linking verb
A linking verb links the subject of the sentence with a noun, pronoun or adjective that follow the linking verb.
For example Night is dark.
Night and dark are the same. They are linked. Dark is an adjective so it is called a predicate adjective.
If you flipped the script and say Dark is night than because they are still equivalent and night is a noun..it becomes a predicate nominative.
However, since I am not he...the link is broken ( he and I are clearly not the same) and what results ia grammatical dilemma; a toss up in which the coin might be heads on both sides or tails on both sides.
I'm sure Mitchum, who infamously showed up at a costume party nude and covered with ketchup dressed as a hamburger, weighed his options carefully and came up with the correct choice.
He graciously signed the autograph.
" Fuck You,"
The woman who got the autograph showed it to everyone she knew for the next 20 years and always said when showing Mitchum's signature.
"That Gary Cooper is a real asshole and he doesn't look anything like what he looks like in the movies"