I think Tone is saying that am is establishing the relationship between I and Twoddle rather than I or Twoddle doing the establishing. And by establishing something, something is being done. And by writing this, he can be right while being opposite the popular view!
Yes, indeed, Dave. Tone has his own inimitable way of viewing the Universe, and I'd be the last to want to deprive him of it. (That's very far from my saying he's right, of course.)
Introverts unite! (Separately, in your own homes.)
>I think Tone is saying that am is establishing the relationship <
Indeed he is. (Very perspicacious, Dave.)
Yes, I know Tone is, and I'm saying that "am" isn't (establishing the relationship). There isn't a relationship and, even if there were, it would have been there all the time and nothing would have established it. If the verb were establishing a relationship, the sentence would read, "I am establishing a relationship with Twoddle". It doesn't; it reads, "I am Twoddle", which is an entirely different concept because "I" is doing absolutely nothing to "Twoddle".
The "Twoddle" is the object of the "am" (or the "to be") statement. The statement has itself acted on the subject.
Statements can't have objects; only transitive verbs can have objects, and "be" isn't a transitive verb.
If we have "I am Twoddle", then do we have "Twoddle is me" or "Twoddle is I"?
The latter, as already stated.
Tone, we're going to have to agree to disagree about this: that's to say you're going to have to disagree with every other grammarian.
How I wish we had an English Academy to pontificate on such matters.
At least we've straightened things out for Vadim. Thanks for that, Tone!
I would agree with Twoddle (how could anyone not?!) and suggest that Tone is thinking divergently here. "Am" isn't establishing anything or doing anything at all (it's just sitting there!) and any relationship is evidently being established by Tone, in his head, because he knows what "am" means.
"He who dares not offend cannot be honest" Thomas Paine