Posted by: Jack Henry | August 15, 2012

Editor’s Corner: Me, Myself, and I

Along with the “who/whom” issue, it seems we have a sister issue (or peeve for many of you). I will call this the “me/myself/I” issue and do my best to explain when to use the word “myself.”

Similar to the technique we use for figuring out if it is who/whom (by replacing the sentence with he or him and seeing which sound right), there’s a little trick for me/myself. For example, “If you want more information, contact Education, Mr. Singleton, or (me/myself).” Read the sentence and leave out Education and Mr. Singleton. In this case you’re left with “If you want more information, contact (me/myself).” Hopefully “me” jumps out as the correct answer.

When is it okay to use the word “myself”?

“Myself” is a reflexive pronoun, meaning it refers back to the subject of the sentence. For “myself” to work, it must be used to refer back to “I.” For example:

· I imagine myself flying on the trapeze without a net.

· When I have enough money, I’m going to buy myself a pony.

Other reflexive pronouns include: “himself,” “herself,” “yourself,” “itself,” “themselves,” etc. They refer back to the subject of the sentence, too. He/himself, she/herself/, you/yourself, and so on.

· He considers himself an expert cat wrangler.

· They regard themselves as the cream of the crop.

One other way to use “myself” is as an intensive pronoun. In this case, the pronoun “myself” is used to add emphasis to a statement. For example:

· I myself saw the intense hatred in her eyes. (dramatic emphasis)

· I made it myself. (So says the kindergartener when he shows his painted macaroni picture to his dad.)

I hope this helps. I did it myself!


“I can’t stand people with a disregard for proper grammar. I mean, whom do they think they am?” – calehartmann (@calehartmann)

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