I don’t like to be that guy–the one who airs his grammar or usage pet peeves. But this one’s been bugging me for a while. It’s the use of “myself” in place of “me.” As in: “Let Jane, Bob, or myself know if you have any questions.” The practice seems rampant in corporate America and other big organizations, maybe because people think it sounds more “correct” or official? It’s called a reflexive pronoun, people. Use it the way it was intended.
4 thoughts on “Pedantry”
I always thought that was a Britishism, but now that you mention it I do hear Americans use it that way sometimes. Maybe Americans think everything British sounds higher-class? It also gets around the I/me issue, which a lot of English speakers seem to have trouble with.
I mourn the slow death of the subjunctive in English.
By the way, I learned in my college linguistics course that, as a general rule, the more people speak a language the simpler the grammar gets. So it’s not surprising that English is losing its noun-case system. (In medieval English, *all* nouns had subjective and objective cases, not just pronouns.) Thus Mandarin Chinese is so simple it has no noun cases at all — not even plurals. On the upside, this does not seem to have made the Chinese any less sharp, or any less capable of producing interesting literature. So maybe it’s nothing to worry about.
My 7 yr old uses the subjunctive properly. If she can, why not everyone else?
(Of course, she knows if she fails to use it she’ll suffer a twenty minute lecture on Old English verb forms from Daddy… 😀 )