Seldom do I get paranoid about a leaving a comment on a blog.
There is one I read, however, once in a great while because it's all about grammar, written by a grammar guru. Occasionally I will leave a comment, but I get the kind of nervous one feels when she's one chess move away from checkmate. I mean, this grammar king has some serious linguistic syntaxes firing away in his brain. The rest of us are babbling pawns.
Not even in my 400-level college grammar class did I hear about "datives" (unless I mistook them for daters--people who date) and I barely recall accusative constructions. Then again, I was planning my wedding.
This blogger, proud author of Anti-Small Talk, has been "refusing to celebrate mediocrity for over four years!" (Woe is he for letting grammar run amok before then.)
In his most recent post, the blogger analyzes the correctness of Ophelia's cry "Woe is me!" by stating that an alternative construction could have been "Woe is to me," since woe is something that must be given to someone. (Think of it as giving grief.) The blogger concludes that only a preposition is dropped, thereby rendering the sentence grammatically correct .
Diagramming the sentence would prove that woe is the subject, is is a being verb, and therefore me would have to be a predicative nominative, which it can't be because you can't interchange the two. You can't say the reverse: Me is woe. Me is a pronoun, which means it stands for a noun. Woe is a noun, but it's not me. I am not woe. I am Zo. (Woe's on first.) I can be woeful, but I can't be woe, nor can woe be me. Grammatically, the wording would only be correct if you could say "woe is I" because "I" must follow a being verb. That's not what Shakespeare's woe-man character meant. She said what she meant and meant what she said.
Got it? Woe is you for reading this.
Conclusion: the construction of "woe is me" must be a dative, not an accusative.
And I have no idea what I'm talking about.
I'm just having fun throwing a smart guy's words around.