“to the best of me ability”

Not Microsoft Word this time, but a similar spelling/grammar checker. I typed “to the best of my ability” and it blue-underlined my, suggesting me: “to the best of me ability”. No, no, no. Certainly not in formal writing (though I note that Pages for Mac and WordPress don’t question me ability (or, less surprisingly, my ability). Just maybe in very informal, non-standard speech, by some people. 

I can find very little information about this usage, probably because it is so informal. This inconclusive ELL Stack Exchange discussion is the only one so far. It’s probably a variant pronunciation of my rather than actually me. People who say to the best of me ability don’t say to the best of you/he/she/it/us/they ability instead of your/his/her/its/our/their ability (the only possible pronunciation is ya ability). Compare I’ll do my best, I’ll do m’best and I’ll do me best with to the best of my ability, *to the best of m’ability and ?to the best of me ability. Note also that me in this usage can’t be stressed: Me car’s been stolen! v Not your car, me car!

All of Google Ngrams’ results for me *_NOUN are from the bigger construction V me N; for example, me something from tell/give/show/teach me something.

I wouldn’t be able to program a spelling/grammar check, so maybe I shouldn’t criticise, but I ever did, I wouldn’t question my N (unless is was part of a V me something construction).

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One thought on ““to the best of me ability”

  1. If Microsoft is triggering on the phrase “the best of me,” as in “get the best of me,” clearly no one there is familiar with The Eagles’ repertoire (“The Best of My Love”).

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