what ever happened to ...

the word “me.” As in “This blog was designed by me.” When did “myself” become a substitute for “me,” and why? To me, it just sounds as if the person using “myself” inappropriately is a boob. No, make that pretentious boob.

For those of you with a grammar disability, here are the rules from Dr. Grammar:

Me, Myself, or I?
According to The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style, “Myself is best used either reflexively (I have decided to exclude myself from consideration) or intensively (I myself have seen instances of that type). But myself shouldn’t appear as a substitute for I or me. Using it that way is thought somehow to be modest, as if the reference were less direct [emphasis added]. Yet it’s no less direct, and the user may unconsciously cause the reader or listener to assume an intended jocularity, or that the user is somewhat doltish. E.g.: ‘The exclusion of women and women’s concerns is self-defeating. For instance, myself and other women in Hollywood [read many women in Hollywood, including me,] would deliver millions of dollars of profit to the film industry if we could make films and television shows about the lives of real women’ (L.A. Times)./ ‘My wife and myself [read I] were in a religious cult for over 15 years before the leader fell over dead’ (Bloomington Pantagraph)(224). Some useful suggestions from The Grammar Bible:
1) “The reflexive pronouns often refer or reflect back to the subject of the sentence. I gave myself the day off. My parents treated themselves to a night on the town. In the first sentence, the pronoun myself refers back to the subject I. In the second sentence, the pronoun themselves refers back to the subject parents. In a sense, these pronouns are turning the action of the verb back to the subject of the sentence.
2) The reflexive pronouns may also fill an emphatic role. Here, these pronouns place emphasis on another noun or pronoun in the sentence. You yourself told me to ask for a raise. Janet built the house herself. In the first example, the pronoun yourself emphasizes the subject you, and in the second, the pronoun herself emphasizes the subject Janet.
3) Never use a reflexive pronoun in place of a standard personal pronoun. They are correctly used only in the reflexive or emphatic roles. The following sentences are incorrect:
John and myself repaired the copy machine. (incorrect)
Jane drove Sherry and myself to the movies. (incorrect)
They should read:
John and I repaired the copy machine. (correct)
Jane drove Sherry and me to the movies. (correct)
This problem most often occurs when someone substitutes the singular, first-person reflexive pronoun myself for one of the singular, first person personal pronouns I or me. Be careful! (Strumpf 191-192).
4) The Grammarlady offers the following advice: “DO NOT USE THE SELF WORDS TO AVOID CHOOSING BETWEEN ‘I’ and ‘ME.’” “IF ONE OF THE PRONOUNS IS ‘I,’ IT COMES LAST IN THE SERIES” (Dear Grammar Lady 6-7). Example: “Myself, my sister Mary, and my mom went to Chicago last week.” Put the I last in the sequence, and the sentence would read, “My sister Mary, my mom, and I went to Chicago last week.”

See, it’s much easier just to use “me”—so stop with the myself abuse already.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/11/06 at 04:50 PM
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