Friday, May 11, 2012

No sugar coating. It's a mini rant.

I would like to talk about myself. No, don't worry, I won't occupy your time right now with what I've been up to for the last 6 months or so (e.g., buying a house, moving, installing 1,000 square feet of flooring, refinishing and painting kitchen cupboards). This rant has to do with the use of the word, myself, which as just an example was used correctly in the first sentence. Unfortunately, it's misuse runs rampant these days. It's on the news. It's in e-mails. It's spoken by professional colleagues. Is it just me or has everyone forgotten there is another, shorter, and actually correct word to use more often than myself? That being me. A definition from Merriam-Webster for myself, "that identical one that is I -- used reflexively <I'm going to get myself a new suit>, for emphasis <I myself will go>, or in absolute constructions <myself a tourist, I nevertheless avoided other tourists>."

Here is an example of a common misuse I hear all the time...
          Please turn in your assignment to Kathy, Michael, and myself for review.
The subject here is an unspoken you, so using the reflexive myself is not correct, and when you stop to think about it, makes no sense. The word should be me. By eliminating the other reviewers in the sentence, it becomes evident what the correct word to use is...
          Please turn in your assignment to me for review.

To make this clearer, here is a similar example with a different reflexive pronoun...
          I will turn in my assignment to Kathy, Michael, and yourself for review.
This is incorrect. The correct word is obviously you. Enough said.

In order to keep this a mini rant, in a nutshell, myself is a reflexive pronoun, which means if the subject is not I, then there is no place in the sentence for the word myself

After that mini rant, I myself feel better. I also feel like I can't post without a picture, so here it goes.

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