Me vs Myself – Self Help

I am a skipping record.  I have previously posted several grammar self help topics, including the “I vs Me” that I have attached a link to below.

I receive emails almost daily from a person in a rather high up position within the company that contain grammar of such a sloppy and false-fancy nature that I cringe.  I know that no one cares and that she is still getting her message across, but she sounds so ridiculously illiterate.  I guess what really bothers me most is that she THINKS she is being correct by using “myself” and “I” when she should be using “me.”  Somewhere at some point in time, some crap english teacher or busy-body spinster aunt must have professed a steadfast rule regarding the usage of me/myself/I and everyone interpreted it incorrectly.  She pluralizes the possessive in such brutal murderous ways.  For example, if she wants us to reply to her email and include one of her coworkers on the reply, she routinely instructs:  “Please reply to Jim and I’s email with your answer.”  Who is I?

“A man’s grammar, like Caesar’s wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.”Edgar Allan Poe

A reflexive pronoun is a pronoun that is preceded by the noun, adjective, adverb or pronoun to which it refers (its antecedent) within the same clause. In generative grammar, a reflexive pronoun is an anaphor that must be bound by its antecedent. In some languages, there is a difference between reflexive and non-reflexive pronouns; but the exact conditions that determine whether or not something be bound are not yet well defined and depend on the language in question. It depends on the part of the sentence containing the pronoun.

In English, the function of a reflexive pronoun is among the meanings of the words myself, yourself, thyself, himself, herself, itself, oneself, ourselves, ourself (as majestic plural), yourselves, and themselves. In the statements “I see him” and “She sees you”, the objects are not the same persons as the subjects, and regular pronouns are used. However, when the person being seen is the same as the person who is seeing, the reflexive pronoun is used: “I see myself” or “She sees herself”.

Me vs Myself

Me, myself, and I may refer to the same person, but they are not interchangeable. Myself should be the one you hear the least, but it’s often used incorrectly in place of me.

Me

Me is an object pronoun, which means that it refers to the person that the action of a verb is being done to, or to which a preposition refers.

They want me to study more.

Tell me a story.

Between you and me, he’s right.

Carol wants to meet with John and me tomorrow.

The book was written entirely by me.

Please call Hillary or me with any questions.

Myself

Myself is a reflexive or stressed pronoun, which means that, generally speaking, it should be used in conjunction with the subject pronoun I, not instead of the object pronoun me.

I bought myself a car.

I myself started the company.

I did the laundry by myself.

I feel like myself again.

Tired of waiting, I just did it myself.

The Bottom Line

Myself can be used for stress, but most grammarians won’t allow it to be used alone – they reject constructions like “Carol wants to meet with John and myself” (correct: with John and me”) and “The book was written entirely by myself” (correct: by me personally).

Just remember that myself can be reflexive (I’m doing something to/for myself) or emphatic (I myself). Otherwise, you probably want to use me.

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