Are we not teaching grammar in schools anymore? I hear this misuse over and over and over, and I refuse to accept that this is going to become proper usage just because it is being said over and over and over. Am I the only one screaming at t.v. screens and in some cases people I hear in shops etc.....it just sounds ignorant to me.
WRONG: "Myself and the wife ..."If you are reading this blog, I, myself, am likely preaching to the choir, but it is my number one bug at the moment. Here endeth the first lesson. Sheesh!
RIGHT: "My wife and I ..."
It is NEVER proper to use myself as the subject of a sentence. The pronoun myself is used primarily in two ways: first, as an intensive pronoun, it emphasizes or "intensives" the meaning of "I" in a statement such as "I myself have been known to commit a grammatical error or two."
The other is as a reflexive pronoun: in the statement "I hurt myself", myself allows the action of the verb (hurt) to "reflect" back upon the subject (I).
Don't use myself, yourself, himself or herself as the subject of a sentence.
Reflexive use reinforces the subject. That means
there must BE a subject. For instance, the sentence "I myself have done the very same thing" is correct. "I" is the subject. The word "myself" reinforces that you are talking about no one else other than the "I" that is the subject. It is also correct to use the reflexive in third person, as in the sentence "The boss herself told me I could do that."
Again, there is a subject that is being reinforced. "The boss" is the
subject. "Told" is the verb. You would have a sentence even if the reflexive word "herself," were removed, i.e. "The boss told me." Adding the word "herself" is for emphasis.
Consider the sentence "Paula, Tim, and myself went to
the show." Since "Paula, Tim, and myself" comprise the subject, they
must be in nominative case. Myself is NEVER nominative. It can NEVER be a subject. Therefore, the sentence should read, "Paula, Tim, and I went to the show." If the author of the sentence wishes to add emphasis to the "I," then the sentence can read, "Paula, Tim, and I myself went to the show."
Here are some practice exercises. Write C by the sentences that are correct. Rewrite the sentences that have errors.
1. Sam, Tim, and myself are headed camping now.
2. Give the paperwork to myself.
3. She accomplished that work all by herself.
4. They were concerned for theirselves in such an unsafe situation.
5. He just has to fix that hisself.
6. I want him to do the job himself.
7. I myself believe that also.
8. The players themselves are willing to clean the field.
9. She asked herself some probing questions.
10. He gave hisself a good lecture.
11. Sammy gave a copy of that memo to Jim, Tom, and myself.
12. Elizabeth sang quietly to herself.
1. Sam, Tim, and I are headed camping now.
2. Give the paperwork to me.
4. They were concerned for themselves in such an unsafe situation.
5. He just has to fix that himself.
10. He gave himself a good lecture.
11. Sammy gave a copy of that memo to Jim, Tom, and me
Myself and Other Reflexive Pronouns
by Elaine Ernst Schneider
January 31, 2001 rev. May 2003