M is for misuse

Most writers have something that annoys them.  Lately, what is annoying me is the misuse of “myself”.  It feels like someone used it wrong a few month’s ago and, suddenly that misuse is being repeated, and repeated, and repeated.

Maybe it’s because people want to sound more polite, more formal or maybe they are just repeating the use of myself instead of me because they’ve heard and read others do it.

Here are a few examples I’ve gathered in the past couple of weeks:

  • John and myself are….
  • Contact myself at……
  • Myself, and most women have…
  • Please respond to Susan and myself…..

It is not correct to say:

  • “Please respond to Susan and myself”  How do you know it’s not correct? Easy. Remove “Susan and”. You definitely wouldn’t say “contact myself” or would you?  Yes, I’ve seen that used a couple of times lately

But, no, it is not correct to say “contact myself” even if someone has told you it’s more polite to say “myself” than “me.

In order to use myself , the subject of the verb must be “I”. For example,

  • I will go to the store myself
  • I will do it myself
  • I’m getting myself some chocolate today (well, any day is good for getting myself chocolate! Or, for someone else getting me chocolate}

You cannot, you must not use myself if someone other than “I” is the subject of the verb. Please don’t write, or say:

  • He emailed the director and myself (He is the subject)
  • Jane likes to go shopping with Susan and myself (Jane is the subject)

If none of this is making sense, do some online research and find examples that work for you.  Let’s stop this rampant incorrect use of “myself” soon.  Please.

 

 

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I get lonely without your words!

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