Wednesday 13 November 2013

Me, Myself and I

There is a plague sweeping the land. It seems to be extremely contagious and spreading at amazing speed.

The problem is the massive increase in incorrect usage of the reflexive pronouns.

Depending on your education you may be agreeing with me and shuddering as you think about recent cases (which is like having someone draw their fingers down a chalkboard); alternatively you may be shrugging and wondering what I'm on about.

Reflexive pronouns are used as objects when the object is the same as the subject of a verb it is  is preceded by the noun, adjective, adverb or pronoun to which it refers (its antecedent) within the same clause. The object must be the same person as the subject for correct usage.

Examples would be:-
After I broke my arm I was unable to dress myself
We put up the tent ourselves; nobody helped us

The reflexive pronoun cannot be used in a clause as the pronoun. It is absolutely incorrect to say the following (heard repeatedly) as the pronoun at the start of the sentence are not the same person as the subject:-
You can send that to myself
I will call yourself tomorrow

I have even heard them just used as the pronoun in a sentence. Absolutely painful - I can only put the plague down to people thinking that the lengthy reflexive pronoun sounds more serious and business like.

Time for the government to fix education and teach some basic English language at schools.

I cannot wait, myself.