Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Yesterday in my first-year Public Relations classes, we discussed some common grammatical errors. One such error is the use of the pronoun "myself" when the writer really means "me."

This morning, not 24 hours later, I received an email that closed with the following invitation:
"Myself" is properly used in a few ways, including:
  1. self-reflexively (when you are talking about carrying out an action on yourself) - e.g. "I dressed myself before leaving the house."
  2. for emphasis - e.g. "I heard him say it myself."
  3. to describe your normal state of being - e.g. "I apologize - I'm not myself today."
If you'd like a more detailed explanation, the Grammar Girl blog provides a great overview of how to use "me" and "myself" properly.

In the example from my email this morning, the writer is telling the reader to follow up with the writer -- the writer him/herself isn't going to be doing the following up.  Since the action is going to be taken by a person who isn't the writer of the sentence, the self-reflexive pronoun is incorrect.

The sentence should read "Please follow up with me, Gail or Tim for your reservation" (or, even better, "Please follow up with Gail, Tim or me for your reservation").