Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Go Bug Yourself

You know what else bugs me? Poor grammar. I suspect this will be the first in a long series of "bad grammar" posts that GB and I post.

It seems to have become fashionable lately to talk about "myself." Inappropriately. Now I don't expect everyone to use perfect grammar all the time, especially not when speaking informally, but this is a problem I hear seemingly everywhere, including formal business contexts. What do I mean? Here's an example I hear all the time: "If you have any questions, call myself or John." What??

"Myself" is a reflexive pronoun. That means it can only be used when the noun to which it refers precedes it in the sentence. Here are some examples: "I see myself in the mirror." "He feeds himself." "I dress myself." "She pats herself on the back." Get it? So what's wrong with the initial example? Only "I" can call "myself." I can scratch myself, wash myself, and scare myself. While I cannot physically tickle myself, grammatically I can. "You" can do nothing to "myself." I assume people use "myself" because they mistakenly think it sounds more educated. It doesn't. Trust me.

So if, for some bizarre reason, you ask people to "call myself" with questions, STOP IT!! You're bugging me!! They can "call me" with questions. They can "call John" with questions. They can "call me or John" (or, more politely, "call John or me") with questions. If you continue to use reflexive pronouns where non-reflexives are call for, I will be forced to pound yourself.


WeezerMonkey said...

I also really hate the over-mis-usage (yes, beautiful non-word) of "I" when "me" is correct.

BikerPuppy said...

Yup, they just want to sound smartlier.

Anonymous said...

Your blog schooled Bill & I a whole lot.

Amazon Barbie said...

My English teacher would always tells us to take the I or the me out of the sentence and if it didn't sound right, that's how you know which one to use. However, since they don't actually teach English in public school