Me, Myself and I

So I’m a high school English teacher, and I’m blogging; I figured maybe I could get away with blogging about some grammar and usage type things only if I could make it funny.  I’m a little inspired in this by Matthew Inman of theoatmeal.com, who is awesome.  I am, however, also daunted by Zach Weiner at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, who very effectively makes fun of grammar geeks.  I’ll try anyway.  Here goes.

One that really bugs me is the whole me and myself thing.  Many people misuse the reflexive personal pronoun (myself), but it’s actually easy to remember how to use it correctly. If you are doing something to yourself and talking about it, then “myself” is the correct word to use. If someone else is doing it to you, then “me” is the correct word to use. For example, “I hit myself on the head repeatedly with a dead salmon,” is correct (though painful) while “All of the students should line up and hit either myself or Mayor Rob Ford with dead fish of your choosing,” is incorrect. In that case, “myself” should be replaced with “me.” It should also be said that hitting people with fish is wrong, no matter how much you may disagree with them about transit funding.Check smbc-comics.com for more stuff like this one.

Not a lot of grammar things really bug me.  As far as I’m concerned, you should split infinitives until your heart’s content and end sentences with as many prepositions as you like.  However, when it comes to the “myself” thing, what really bugs me is that people incorrectly use “myself” when they are trying to sound fancy and erudite.  There’s nothing wrong with a plain and simple “me.”

Many people misuse the reflexive personal pronoun (myself), but it’s actually easy to remember how to use it correctly. If you are doing something to yourself and talking about it, then “myself” is the correct word to use. If someone else is doing it to you, then “me” is the correct word to use. For example, “I hit myself on the head repeatedly with a dead salmon,” is correct (though painful) while “All of the students should line up and hit either myself or Mr. Paulseth with dead fish of your choosing,” is incorrect. In that case, “myself” should be replaced with “me.” It should also be said that hitting people with fish is wrong.

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About davidlomax

Writer, teacher, husband, dad. Geek from way back. Author of the totally pre-orderable Backward Glass, out in October 2013 from Flux Books (http://goo.gl/4FOM2). View all posts by davidlomax

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