Okay, I’m not an officer of the grammar police, as anyone who reads my blog can easily attest, but few errors do get under my skin. Usually those that result from people trying to sound smart and formal and instead making an error. This is a mistake I see everywhere, in the works of all the professional authors I edit, and it is fast becoming such common usage it may eventually become accepted. Please help me stop that travesty.
Do not use myself in place of I or me.
According to A Dictionary of Modern American Usage, by Bryan A. Garner,
myself is best used either reflexively [I have decided to exclude myself from consideration] or intensively [I myself have seen instances of that type]. But myself shouldn’t appear as a substitute for I or me. Using it that way is thought somehow to be modest, as if the reference were less direct. Yet it’s no less direct, and the user may unconsciously cause the reader or listener to assume an intended jocularity, or that the user is somewhat doltish:
* “Those ins and outs are largely a self-learning process, though knowing the experience of someone like myself [read me] might make the learning shorter, easier, and a lot less painful.” Mark H. McCormack, What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School xii (1984).
* “My wife and myself [read I] were in a religious cult for over fifteen years. . . .”
See. Misusing myself means you end up in cults! For heaven’s sake, don’t do it!
Speaking of myself, I have nothing to do at work right now, hence brushing up on my grasp of English grammar. I successfully survived margarita night, a perfectly timed dress rehearsal, since I’ve been invited to a Press happy hour tomorrow. Tonight myself really hopes to get into the trapeze class.