Myself as Noun: Right, wrong?

QuestionMarksIt is a curious thing that has happened in our society.

People are using the using the word “myself” as the subject of sentences — even important people, including the President of the United States. My blog isn’t a place for political commentary. However, I want to make the point that confusion goes all the way to the most important job in our nation.

No one should be using “myself,” which is a reflexive pronoun, in the place of a pronoun, which is used as the subject of a sentence.

Incorrect usage: “Cousin Dixie and myself are studying for our grammar exam.” WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. This usage will land us in trouble on our test.

Correct usage: “Cousin Dixie and I are studying for our grammar exam.” This usage probably will ensure that we get a special treat.

If in doubt, remove the other subject of the sentence. You would not say “Myself is studying for our grammar exam.” OUCH!

We have eight subject pronouns to use in sentences. These are I, you, he, she, it, we, you and they. These pronouns – only eight of them — are the action actors, so to speak, in a sentence. “I am going to play” or “we are returning the books to the library” or “they are taking a vacation.”

Reflexive pronouns used properly refer back to the subject of a sentence “I am treating myself to the cookies on the table when the Editorial Assistant, Mom Karen, isn’t looking.” This is likely to land me in trouble even with good grammar usage.

Reflexive pronouns include the singular myself, yourself, himself, herself or itself, as well as the plural ourselves, yourselves or themselves.

Reflexive pronouns have one other important job: They are used as emphatic or emphasis pronouns — in other words, their use is to make a point about something.

“I myself will make the decision about when to remove the cookies from the table.”

This seems like a lot to know — and we haven’t tackled the misuse of “I, me and myself.” That’s a topic for another day.

As you listen to people speak in the world around you, on television or in movies, you probably will hear “myself” being used as a noun. It is likely that this misuse will hurt your ears as much it hurts mine.

Mom Karen and I are going for a walk now. I think this is wonderful! Cookies, later!
















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