is it...or....or...?

General_Ricardo   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 08:53 GMT
Is it " I haven't seen em in 3 months" or " I haven't seen him for 3 months" or both?
Steve   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 16:36 GMT
Both are fine and have basically the same meaning.
Portia   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 21:00 GMT
They're not the same:

"I haven't seen 'em in 3 months": 'em (note the apostrophe) = them
"I haven't seen him in 3 months": him = him

If you're going to write down colloquial speech, then use 'im for "him".
General_Ricardo   Monday, July 12, 2004, 21:01 GMT
thnx guys.
BTW, when writing down "colloquial speach", both "im" and "em" have the same pronuciation. Right?
Random Chappie   Monday, July 12, 2004, 21:48 GMT

You could try using "them" instead of " 'em". See how it feels...
Ailian   Monday, July 12, 2004, 23:12 GMT
>BTW, when writing down "colloquial speach", both "im"
>and "em" have the same pronuciation. Right?

As Random Chappie stated, no. Only in parts of the American South do they have the same pronunciation, but, when written, "'im" is always "him" and "'em" is always "them".
Ailian   Monday, July 12, 2004, 23:14 GMT
Actually, after thinking about it, they *could* perhaps have the same pronunciation if they were unstressed and in rapid speech (a sort of "um" sound) in other areas of the English-speaking world, but they would still be written as "'im" and "'em". I'm not too certain of this theory, though -- confirmations, anyone?
Jim   Monday, July 12, 2004, 23:22 GMT
Yeah, that sounds about right , Ailian. They'd be distinct in careful speech but in careful speech the words wouldn't unsually be shortened in this way.
General_Ricardo   Monday, July 12, 2004, 23:25 GMT
I'm not into the way it's written. My question is about whether or whether not they're pronuced the same as in " I told em" and " I told im". I think both have the same pronuciation "um".
Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, July 13, 2004, 03:15 GMT
No I don't, but I imagine some people would pronounce them both 'm.

I say:
I told em ~ I told 'm (the ' is a schwa)
I told him ~ I told im
CalifJim   Sunday, July 18, 2004, 04:51 GMT
The faster I speak, the closer both come to 'm.
Random Chappie   Sunday, July 18, 2004, 06:22 GMT
Personally, I have always pronounced 'im (which I say very often) the way it is written- that is, with the "i" sound in "little".
CalifJim   Monday, July 19, 2004, 06:17 GMT
I say um the same.
If I were speaking slowly enough to make a distinction between the vowel 'e' and the vowel 'i', I would be speaking slowly enough to put in the 'th' or the 'h' as well.

If I heard "Give um hell!", I would need to look around for context to see if um was him or them.

(For the record, I would write 'im or 'em.)