So what’s the problem? Maybe it’s Cookie Monster’s fault. Ever since he popularized the saying “Me want cookie,” literate adults seem to think there’s something tacky about using me. How wrong they are. Many Writamins subscribers have lamented the improper usage of me and myself. Here is what you need to know about these pronouns:
Myself is a personal pronoun, used:
- As an intensifier of I [I saw it myself, I myself knew it was a lie],
- As a reflexive [I hurt myself, I bought myself a car], or
- With the meaning “my real, true, or normal self” [I am not myself today.]
If you are ever in doubt about whether to use me, myself, or I, simplify the sentence. For example, in the sentence Please bring a glass of Merlot for the lady and myself, you would take away the lady and realize that since the word for is a preposition, the correct pronoun must be me. The object of the preposition is always in the objective case.
In phrases that begin with the preposition between, the correct pronoun is always me. You don’t need to know the grammar lingo – just ask yourself if it sounds right to say Just between I or Just between we. It’s always between you and me.
Many grammar experts disapprove of the use of -self pronouns when they do not refer to the subject of the sentence. Sentences like the following are NOT correct:
- He was an enthusiastic fisherman like myself.
- The letters were written entirely by myself.
- The boss asked John and myself to give a brief presentation.
I myself side with the grammar mavens on this topic. Between you and me, don’t be afraid to use me.
© 2011 Elizabeth Danziger