Re: Me vs. Myself

Subject: Re: Me vs. Myself
From: Debra Kahn <dwkahn -at- LAMAR -dot- COLOSTATE -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 1995 13:21:24 -0600

Cathy,
Hello. I've been "lurking" for about a week now. But your posting
really struck a chord with me. On 4-24-95 you wrote:
> This is not a flame, but when did "myself" replace "me"? In the last
> couple of years, I've seen regular use of "myself" in print, heard it on
> broadcasts (TV and radio) from professional broadcasters and writers in
> statements I thought should have been "me," and am curious. Did I miss a
> change in usage? Or have I been wrong all these years?

As someone who has been writing and teaching writing on and off for over
15 years, I hold that "me" is the objective case and "myself" is the
reflexive case. Thus "me" is always proper after verb forms (e.g.,
"including") and prepositions (e.g., "from"). And "myself" is proper when
speaking of some action one does to one's person. I'm no William Saffire
wanna be, but I always recommend testing the situation with "him' versus
"himself." Most of us (objective case) wouldn't say "The statement has
met with widespread disagreement from ourselves (including himself)"
Would we? But we would say "He outdid himself" or "He hurt himself."

By the way, what ever happened to saying "Most of us disagreed with that
statement"??

On the other hand, the glossary of usage in the sixth edition of the
Little Brown Handbook states that "'self' pronouns refer to or intensify
other words. . . (They) can be used in place of personal pronouns, but
that use should be avoided in formal speech and writing." Hmmm. No
reference to e-mail. Seems pretty open-ended to me.

I get on this soapbox very once in a while because my husband, a
self-proclaimed bureaucrat, always says things like "The guy directed his
criticisms at John and myself." I want to hide my face in shame.

Anyway, that's my two cents' worth.

--Deb K
//////
E-mail: dwkahn -at- lamar -dot- colostate -dot- edu
OR wileycon -at- aol -dot- com

The 16th thought to help you through almost any administrative crisis
reads "I have seen the truth and it makes no sense."


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