A Short Rant About Pronouns

Forgive the deviation… this is not a post about technology or teaching. Forgive, as well, the seeming “fuddyduddiness” of this post.

Can we please start using “myself” in the right way? I have pretty much given up hope of hearing the correct use of “me” and “I.” I accept the fact that people will say, “They threw a party for my family and I” even through “they threw a party for me,” when we are joined with our family, we reject the proper pronoun when we are the object. My reason for giving up, is based purely on syllables. “I” and “me” are both monosyllabic, so I invest no greater time hearing the correct one as the incorrect one.

I am really bothered by the incorrect use of “myself,” however. Let’s see if I can use it correctly. “I ate the whole pizza myself.” OK… there is only one individual in this sentence and I am that person (or that person is me). No one else. In my sentence, I am describing one of my great accomplishments. I am specifying also, that there is no one other than me in the story.

I have noticed a very specific use of myself that really annoys me. I hear the directive “you can reach out to myself if you have questions.” In this sentence there are two people; you (someone other than me) has a question, so they reach out to me (the one who has the answer). Two people. You can’t my “myself” if you are speaking to someone else! Stop it! You are making me waste a whole second syllable of listening (and you are wasting another syllable of speaking). Seriously. Stop it.

Rant done… going back to reading a Stephen Jay Gould essay.