Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Me, MYSELF, and I

"If you like this painting and would like more information, please contact the artist or myself. "

What is WRONG with that sentence? If you do not know, read on.

I know I will really catch some you know what for this post. I have been called a grammar Nazi and I am proud of it! Not really (the proud part) - I certainly do not always get it right, but this is a misuse of the word "myself" that I hear more and more these days and I just have to say something!

I think most who read this will appreciate it as most bloggers aspire to be good writers and want to use correct grammar in their posts.

To confirm my stand , (and since I decided to get all prissy and smug here!) I referenced this website. Here is an excerpt regarding the word in question:

Hi, Grammar Girl. This is Chuck Tomasi, your interim Grammar Guy from ChuckChat.com, home of podcasts too numerous to mention. I hear and see examples of the misuse of the word myself all the time. For example, an e-mail went out from HR like this, “Please contact Squiggly, Aardvark, or myself with questions.” Could you please help listeners know when the word myself is appropriate and when to use a more appropriate word? Thanks!
Excellent, Chuck! Let's dissect what's wrong with that sentence: "Please contact Squiggly, Aardvark, or myself with questions." The simplest way to think of it is like this: How would you say the sentence without Squiggly and the aardvark? Then it usually becomes obvious! You would say, “Please contact me with questions,” not, “Please contact myself with questions.” So when you add in Squiggly and the aardvark, that doesn't change anything. It's still correct to say, “Please contact Squiggly, aardvark, or me with questions.”

Digging into the topic a little deeper, myself is what's called a reflexive pronoun. That can be hard to remember, but just think about looking into a mirror and seeing your reflection. You'd say, “I see myself in the mirror.” You see your reflection, and myself is a reflexive pronoun.

If you care, and if you have misused the word"myself", do not feel badly. I even heard our president misuse it..........on national television!!

So, that being said, "If you like this painting and would like more information, please contact the artist or ME".

Whew - I feel better already. Thank you.


  1. Oh lord! I'm almost tempted to go back through my posts to see if I am GUILTY! Wait, did I just write that correctly? I'm actually nervous writing this comment...oh well.
    Thanks for informaiton!

  2. Oh no, Janell! I did not write this to make anyone nervous or paranoid! I think we pick up expressions and uses of words from each other. This is just one I particularly think sounds "off" if that makes sense! No worries - thanks for commenting.

  3. ...thank goodness...there are two of us...

  4. All writing matters! Excellent post. I just found your blog and will check back often.

  5. I do agree that using correct grammar is important, but I can't guarantee that I always use it. It's so funny. I'm nervous writing this comment too! :-) I know that wasn't your intent though. :-)
    pk @ room remix

  6. I can be a grammar Nazi but I am always dreadfully embarassed when I catch myself doing something wrong, or making spelling mistakes...like embarassed - is that even spelled correctly? We are all becoming so illiterate with these computers, but I will admit that the "contact myself" type thing drives me up the wall also. I find lots of maddening mistakes in the world around me, but I am probably doing something stupid that I don't even know about. Do you know I spelled Britain wrong for years (Britian)? I was horrified when I found out as I always suspected I was perfect before that.


    Great post! Terri xo

  7. Thanks for the link love. And no, Presidents are not perfect. They've been making grammar mistakes for years. Our only hope is more people catch it and point it out. The blame is not entirely with the President - Shame on his speech writers for letting something like that get out.

  8. Chuck, I thought about those speech writers, too! However, how much of what he says is EXACTLY as they write it? I do not know. It seems to be a grammar error that has become very, very common - almost like people hear it and pick it up without even realizing it.

  9. I love this post Ann! Too funny! A very smart friend once told me about that test- of taking the other person out then it becomes more obvious if it is 'Ann and me', or 'Ann and I'!!
    Now, if you could start a movement to have "spell-check" on blogs I would be one happy girl! I hate having spelling errors/typos! (see like now I'm all worried I have a mispelled word here somewhere!!)

  10. I love grammar girl! And squiggly. They did a hilarious post some years ago on April fool's day. I really hate it when I hear or see "myself" when "me" would be correct. Why are folks afraid to write or say me? It doesn't sound hick. It doesn't sound too selfish. But my pet peeve is the use of "they" when the subject it should agree with is singular. I have two degrees, zero hours of English, but somehow I picked it up, with help from grammar girl. Like the painting, too!



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