De La Soul "Me, Myself and I"

My formal training is as a linguist, not an English teacher, so I know that language is a fluid thing. What is considered incorrect can become correct through a critical mass of mainstream usage. But there are just certain “wrongs” that I’d hate to see gain enough traction to become “right”.

Are you guilty of using any of these? Do you think we should love ‘em (accept these transgressions and let them creep into our textbooks) or leaveem?

Me Myself and I

I myself have long been fuzzy on the proper use of the word “myself.”

It’s pretty straightforward as a reflexive pronoun: I’m going to write myself a note so I don’t forget.

And it’s also not rocket science deciding when to use it for emphasis: I myself have trouble remembering the rule.

The confusion seems to set in when we have a compound subject – when “I” am joined by someone else. Tell me if you think the following two sentences are correct:

John and myself will be with you in a minute.

The waiter brought some bread for Jane and myself.

You hesitated there for a second, didn’t you? Both sound slightly kosher, right? That’s because myself is creeping into the mainstream – more and more people are choosing to love it.

But for now, both are still considered ungrammatical. When in doubt, remember that “lose the second subject” test you learned in fifth grade.

John and myself will be with you in a minute.

If you drop “John,” you’re left with Myself will be with you in a minute.

I will be with you in a minute sounds much better, so John and I will be with you in a minute would make your fifth grade teacher proud.

And for another trip down memory lane, kick it old skool to De La Soul’s Me Myself and I.

What do you think about the over-usage of “myself”? Love it or leave it?