You are sort of correct, Grammarcrazed, in that nobody in today's world uses "friends of me" as an isolated phrase. However, nobody here has said that "friends of me" can or should be used as an isolated phrase. Please observe the emboldened question mark next to "friends of my wife and me" in the above post. It marks the phrase as questionable.
As you know, "me" is an objective-case pronoun, like "him," "her," etc. The COCA corpus shows two results for "friends of him" and two results for "friend of him." Here's an example of the former:
- "He also knows that he made a big mistake and I think that he needs people like me not to be out criticizing him but people like me that are friends of him to support him during this time of need."
That sentence was spoken, in 1998, by James Carville, who, at the time, was serving as an adviser to Bill Clinton. James Carville is a native speaker and a Doctor of Jurisprudence. This places him in the "well-educated native speaker" category.
Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, and Jan Svartvik are the authors of A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language
(Longman, 1985). They are among the most highly educated people ever to write about the English language.
In their co-authored work, examples from which are quoted above, they describe the sentence She is the daughter of him
, not as grammatically incorrect, but as ODD, citing the general PREFERENCE for She is his daughter
and (if the man has more than one daughter) She is a daughter of his
In my last post (the post before David's), I did not suggest the phrase "friends of me." What I suggested was the phrase "friends of me and my wife's
." The addition of "and my wife's" considerably defuses the oddity of "friends of me" as an isolated phrase.
Why did I suggest "friends of me
and my wife's" rather than "friends of mine
and my wife's"? Because the latter phrase expresses separate possession: "friends of mine and friends of my wife's." I was striving to express joint possession.
My idea was that, in the phrase "friends of me and my wife's," the apostrophe-s
inflects "me and my wife" as a unit, just as in the phrase "Jack and Jill's friends" the apostrophe-s
inflects "Jack and Jill" rather than just "Jill."
The phrase "Jack and Jill's friends" refers to joint friends of Jack and Jill, whereas "Jack's and Jill's friends" need not refer to joint friends; it may also refer to separately possessed friends -- in four possible ways (!), according to Quirk et al.
However, as David indicates above, "Jack and Jill's friends" converts to "friends of Jack and Jill" rather than to "friends of Jack and Jill's." That is why, in the course of his argument, he temporarily changed "friends of me and my wife's" to "friends of my wife and me." But that was just in passing. He mentioned it precisely in order that he might dismiss it!
The upshot of David's post is that he thinks Russell Crowe's phrase is perfectly fine — and I, for one, agree with him.