Re: myself / reflexive pronouns used by themselves

Subject: Re: myself / reflexive pronouns used by themselves
From: John Renish <John -dot- Renish -at- CONNER -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 1995 09:47:06 PDT

Not heat, I hope, but light.

"Grammar" became an issue in English as early as the Middle Ages, when
academics force-fit Latin rules and terminology to what Shelley rightly
notes is a Germanic language (they did it to German, too, for that matter).
Ridiculous "rules" such as ending a sentence in a preposition go back a long
way, and I agree with Shelley on that point.

However, it is a great stretch to legitimize the reflexive pronoun on the
basis of German: certain German verbs *always* take the reflexive pronoun as
an object and others *never* do. Our verbs properly take the reflexive
pronoun as an object only when the antecedent pronoun matches the reflexive
pronoun. In German ich liebe mich und ich liebe Dich, but in English I love
myself and I love you. Saying or writing I love yourself is pretty weird
except in stage Irish (the real Irish wouldn't say it).

IMHO, the current trend to use the reflexive pronoun alone in the objective
case in English is merely a false genteelism. OTOH, myself, I think you can
make a case for the use of appositive reflexive pronouns for emphasis in
informal writing.

John -dot- Renish -at- conner -dot- com
My statements are my own and do not represent Conner Peripherals, Inc.
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