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Use of 'myself', 'himself' etc.

(27 Posts)
tearinghairout Tue 23-Feb-10 11:48:06

Am I right in thinking that these are only ever used reflexively, as in 'I wash myself' and 'Fred should push himself to work harder in lessons'.

Am looking at school reports (as you may have guessed) and have found a plethora of 'Myself and the teaching assistants are here to help' and suchlike.

I would substitute 'me', but, in the above example, 'me and the teaching assistants' sounds a bit... common wrong, along the lines of 'Me and Fred are ...', which I know should be 'Fred and I' but DYSWIM?

tearinghairout Tue 23-Feb-10 11:56:25

Ouch! Have just realised that 'Me and the teaching assistants' should also, of course, be 'I..'

Question still stands about whether use of 'myself' is OK or not when not used reflexively.

MrsBadger Tue 23-Feb-10 12:01:41

no, imo

People know that 'Me and the teaching assisstants are here to help' sounds wrong, but think they can fix it by using 'myself' rather than correcting it to 'The teaching assistants and I are here to help'.

PrettyCandles Tue 23-Feb-10 12:08:11

I think you are right, they are using 'myself' incorrectly in your example.

tearinghairout Tue 23-Feb-10 12:17:50

Interesting point Mrs Badger. As an editor I was taught to approach writing with 'If it's wrong, change it'. So sometimes I find it hard to be flexible.

What do you think about 'Fred should ask myself for help'? I would change to 'ask me' - would you?

If the old teaching asistants are there too, we get 'ask myself or the TAs...'. Which presumably you would you find OK?

MrsBadger Tue 23-Feb-10 13:05:05

no no I am right with you, tis def for reflexive use only

I was trying to pinpoint why people often get it wrong

tearinghairout Tue 23-Feb-10 19:37:47

Phew! <<trying to move with the times>> That's OK then! Thanks.

MarionCole Tue 23-Feb-10 19:42:02

This really irritates me.

"If you have any queries please call myself".


WingedVictory Tue 23-Feb-10 21:57:35

They probably think it sounds more educated - bein' a bigger word, an' all. A bit like saying "He's the one whom is replacing me during my maternity leave?" Argh.

campion Tue 23-Feb-10 22:24:37

It's used when people don't know whether I or me is correct. Or perhaps they think it sounds more ... err... caring.

I'm particularly hmm when I see it on our staffroom noticeboard.

Is it as bad / worse than ' please have a word with Agapantha or I', the other favourite?

Teachers, eh?

SpeedyGonzalez Tue 23-Feb-10 22:28:31

I cannot stand this bizarre use of 'myself' either. Or 'yourself' - as in: "Is it just yourself who'll be looking to use the car?"


<<breathe in love...>>

assumetheposition Tue 23-Feb-10 22:31:16

This drives me insane ...... no it doesn't make you sound clever, you just sound like a mook grin.

WingedVictory Wed 24-Feb-10 14:46:51

What does "mook" mean, assumetheposition? I once met someone with that surname, and would not like to think it was an insult. Poor guy!

tearinghairout Wed 24-Feb-10 20:06:31

I love you lot grin
Peasants' Pedants' corner is where I come when I feel the world is against me. Only amongst others who rant over 'Five items or less', and similar, do I feel at home. My dch say things like 'would of' just to wind me up, the loves.

So what is a mook, then?

assumetheposition Wed 24-Feb-10 20:09:53

I refer you to the urban dictionary here

However, in our house, it's just another word for an idiot, albeit a harmless one.

SPBInDisguise Wed 24-Feb-10 20:13:23

reflexive and to emphasise a point
So "The Queen herself inspected the troops" is also correct
I hate the use where it should just be me, you, "So, I'll give yourself a ring on Tuesday" angry

SPBInDisguise Wed 24-Feb-10 20:14:56

obv should be "you" in's late, myself is tired

tearinghairout Thu 25-Feb-10 19:27:58

Assume - that link lists one of its meanings as 'knucklehead' grin A much under-used expression imo and more descriptive than mook!

Lemonmeringue Thu 25-Feb-10 22:22:32

I think it's sometimes considered to be a posh way to say 'I' or 'he', etc., on the grounds that words with two syllables are better than mere monosyllables.

WingedVictory Fri 26-Feb-10 13:45:48

Ah, but, SPBInDisguise, you raised another point of pedantry. Who here says "telephone to"?

On a slightly related matter, I remember Miss Marple's comenting that her maidservant confused matters when she left notes about people who "called": confused, because the maidservant had form for using "called" (i.e. stopped by) rather than "telephoned"!

Ahhhh.... <sigh of pleasure>

WebDude Tue 02-Mar-10 09:17:14

WV - "the one whom is replacing me"

gets me off at a tangent to journalists (yes, even on the BBC!) who often confuse 'who' and 'which' when talking about staff or companies in disputes, etc.

WingedVictory Tue 02-Mar-10 14:23:27

Journalists : "scribblers" who've become typists... <grumble grumble>.

Speaking of this, has anyone heard the putdown of Jack Kerouac (I can't remember by whom) : "That's not writing; that's typing."

unclefester77 Fri 20-May-11 18:14:02

Oh, my sister was corrected at work by her boss for writing 'My colleague and I.' Her boss said 'I presume you mean myself and my colleague' and she said no, if I'd wanted to write it ungrammatically that's what I would have said. She works in the judiciary....

EricNorthmansMistress Wed 01-Jun-11 22:22:37

Unclefester that's a brilliant retort smile

chateauferret Sat 02-Jul-11 15:59:03

Use of "-self" as a pronoun for the subject of a sentence is common in Scottish usage and comes about from the influence of Gaelic, in which the equivalent usage "Is mise" ('mise' the emphatic form of 'mi') is idiomatic. But that is an emphatic form, not a reflexive one, so it's still wrong.

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