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The context of this question:

I take a snapshot of myself sitting in my cubicle and send it to someone.

The caption of the photo I put is "This is I at work." but I just want to make sure (as what I think is the proper grammatical form sounds slightly odd to me) - what is the proper grammar:

This is I at work.

or

This is me at work.

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  • A quick search found claims that either is correct because "I" or "me" is the complement not the object of "this is." But I'm not confident of that. I would use "this is me" but it's only my bias. – puppetsock May 21 at 17:39
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    As much as ‘relevant xkcd’ is an overdone meme… xkcd.com/1771 – user3840170 May 21 at 18:15
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Traditional grammar says that to be is followed by a complement in the nominative case, not by an object:

It is I.

In everyday usage, the vast majority of people say "me":

It is me.

Both are correct, but "It is I" sounds very formal.

"This is I at work" sounds ridiculous, though. It is so unidiomatic that it should probably be considered incorrect. So it seems that the nominative forms are only really acceptable in a subset of sentence types.

In conclusion: We would always say "This is me at work".

Addendum: Cambridge has these examples:

The dog barked before we even came to the door. He knew it was us.

Not: He knew it was we.

You know the girl I was telling you about? Well, that’s her over there.

Not: Well, that’s she over there.

But also points out:

In some formal contexts we use the subject pronoun (e.g. I, he, they, we):

I can’t exactly remember whether it was he who asked me to go with them. (less formal: … whether it was him who …)

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"I" is the nominative case of the singular personal pronoun. It is used when the pronoun is the subject of the sentence. All other cases of the personal pronoun are "me." This is similar to "whom," which many speakers incorrectly believe is the "proper" form of "who." In fact "who" is the nominative case and "whom" is all other cases.

In your sentence the personal pronoun is not the subject, so the nominative case is not correct; the subject is the pronoun "This" (which refers to the photo) and the personal pronoun is an object.

"This is me at work" is correct.

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