Mumsnet Logo
My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

Pedants' corner

Myself - no, you mean I or me!

78 replies

Hottoffeesauce · 04/02/2023 13:28

Has anyone else noticed that people are using 'myself' because they aren't sure about when to use 'I' or 'me'? Drives me crackers!

OP posts:
Report

Hbh17 · 04/02/2023 13:41

Oh goodness me, yes - so irritating.
As was an email I received at work recently full of "if that's OK with yourselves" and "could I ask yourself about....".
This was from a mature, professional person and thus all the more shocking.

Report

SunsetBlue · 04/02/2023 13:59

The use of 'myself' always reminds me of the Big Brother house in the early 00's... it was either the late Jade Goody or Nikki Graham. I think it was Jade in the diary room and she was fuming about something!

Report

StopFeckingFaffing · 04/02/2023 14:04

I'm guilty of this sometimes but it has become so common place that it's easy to slip into

Please could a grammar expert explain when you should and shouldn't use myself? I could definitely do with a reminder and always happy to learn and improve my English πŸ˜€

Report

VeronicaBeccabunga · 04/02/2023 14:05

Also seen recently: whomever and whomsoever.
I think they meant whoever.

Report

LolaSmiles · 04/02/2023 14:07

You're not alone. I find it quite frustrating.

I've come to the conclusion that some people think that using reflexive pronouns makes them sound 'better'.

It reminds me of Hyacinth Bucket using 'I' when grammatically it should be 'me' in an attempt to sound posh.

Report

SenecaFallsRedux · 04/02/2023 14:21

StopFeckingFaffing · 04/02/2023 14:04

I'm guilty of this sometimes but it has become so common place that it's easy to slip into

Please could a grammar expert explain when you should and shouldn't use myself? I could definitely do with a reminder and always happy to learn and improve my English πŸ˜€

I wouldn't call myself an expert, but "myself," "yourself," etc. is reflexive so it refers back to (or reflects) something, as in "I will do it myself." "Myself" refers back to "I" and is used in this case for emphasis. It there is nothing for the reflexive pronoun to refer to, then it is likely incorrect. "Give it to myself" has nothing for the "myself" to refer to.

Report

SenecaFallsRedux · 04/02/2023 14:23

Also seen recently: whomever and whomsoever.
I think they meant whoever.

It depends. Sometimes "whomever" is correct. But the who/whom distinction in the English language is fading fast.

Report

StopFeckingFaffing · 04/02/2023 16:27

Thanks @SenecaFallsRedux that makes a lot of sense

Report

Florissant · 04/02/2023 16:34

StopFeckingFaffing · 04/02/2023 14:04

I'm guilty of this sometimes but it has become so common place that it's easy to slip into

Please could a grammar expert explain when you should and shouldn't use myself? I could definitely do with a reminder and always happy to learn and improve my English πŸ˜€

I know your query has been answered but I'd like to expand the answer a bit further. As it's a reflexive pronoun, it's used when doing, talking, dressing etc anything to yourself.

For example, I talked to myself during the film.

Report

DelphiniumBlue · 04/02/2023 16:41

Infuriating.
The phrase that is currently annoying me is "talk to" rather than "talk about".
For example, " We had a discussion yesterday about potential flood damage. We'll talk to that at tomorrow's meeting."
No, no and no!
It comes from the same place as "myself" - trying to sound important and more savvy than the person they are speaking to.

Report

Florissant · 04/02/2023 16:42

And"utlitise" rather than "use". I have a colleague who said that all of the time. And they use semi-colons when they should have used colons.

Report

Florissant · 04/02/2023 16:43

Used not use. Thank heavens they immigrated and I no longer have to work with them.

Report

SenecaFallsRedux · 04/02/2023 16:51

Florissant · 04/02/2023 16:42

And"utlitise" rather than "use". I have a colleague who said that all of the time. And they use semi-colons when they should have used colons.

"Utilize" is very high on my list of pet peeves.

(I'm American, if anyone wants to get fussy about the spelling.) πŸ˜€

Report

Florissant · 04/02/2023 16:56

Gah. utilise not whatever spelling I just made up. Darned typos.

Report

LauraNicolaides · 04/02/2023 17:04

"Self" pronouns (reflexive pronouns) are used when the person doing the thing is also the person to whom it's being done.

So I can cook for myself. You can cook for yourself. But I don't cook for yourself. I cook for you.

I can ask myself why the country is in a mess. You can ask yourself the same question. But if I'm asking you then I ask you (not yourself).

Etc!

Report

Florissant · 04/02/2023 17:13

LauraNicolaides · 04/02/2023 17:04

"Self" pronouns (reflexive pronouns) are used when the person doing the thing is also the person to whom it's being done.

So I can cook for myself. You can cook for yourself. But I don't cook for yourself. I cook for you.

I can ask myself why the country is in a mess. You can ask yourself the same question. But if I'm asking you then I ask you (not yourself).

Etc!

Yes. Reflexive pronouns refer to actions being done, to, for, with etc one's self.

Report

TheShellBeach · 04/02/2023 17:13

LauraNicolaides · 04/02/2023 17:04

"Self" pronouns (reflexive pronouns) are used when the person doing the thing is also the person to whom it's being done.

So I can cook for myself. You can cook for yourself. But I don't cook for yourself. I cook for you.

I can ask myself why the country is in a mess. You can ask yourself the same question. But if I'm asking you then I ask you (not yourself).

Etc!

Surely you mean "ect"?

Report

Lovetotravel123 · 04/02/2023 17:14

Yes, drives me crazy.

Report

upinaballoon · 04/02/2023 21:37

StopFeckingFaffing · 04/02/2023 14:04

I'm guilty of this sometimes but it has become so common place that it's easy to slip into

Please could a grammar expert explain when you should and shouldn't use myself? I could definitely do with a reminder and always happy to learn and improve my English πŸ˜€

I'm no expert either but 'myself' often gets used incorrectly in a sentence with two people as the subjects, so might I expand a little more.

John went to London. I went to London. John and I went to London.

Jenny welcomed me. Jenny welcomed John. Jenny welcomed me and John.

I bought fudge for Jane. I bought fudge for myself. I bought fudge for Jane and myself.

Report

upinaballoon · 04/02/2023 21:42

The nice lady at the building society said, "Leave your passbook and we'll make it up for you after the 31st and we'll post it back to yourself." I thought, "You." I said nothing. Coward??

Report

Aranan · 04/02/2023 21:47

What makes the myself/yourself thing even worse is that it seems to be exclusively misused by people actually trying to sound clever. It makes me itch!

Report

Clymene · 04/02/2023 21:48

It is the most egregious of grammar crimes IMO. Often used by pompous men in my experience.

Report

Florissant · 04/02/2023 21:50

Clymene · 04/02/2023 21:48

It is the most egregious of grammar crimes IMO. Often used by pompous men in my experience.

I see you've met my annoying ex-colleague.

Report

Surelyitscoffeetime · 04/02/2023 22:21

Aranan · 04/02/2023 21:47

What makes the myself/yourself thing even worse is that it seems to be exclusively misused by people actually trying to sound clever. It makes me itch!

Exactly this. Drives myself nuts πŸ˜‚

Report

LauraNicolaides · 04/02/2023 23:15

My theory - addressing someone more important as "you" has been considered rude and overly familiar for a long time. That's why the correct pronoun for the king is not "you" but "your majesty". Duchesses are addressed as "your grace". High court judges are addressed as "your honour".

Slightly obsequious people in call centres have extended this principle to all their customers. They think it would be rude to say "I'll email you the details". If you were the Queen Consort they'd say "I'll email your majesty". I'm guessing you're not, so they've settled on "I'll email yourself"!

(Totally unrelated - they seem to think "putting" things is a bit rude, so they pop instead - I'll just pop yourself on hold, I'll pop it in the post to yourself Hmm)

Report
Similar threads
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?