Goldwing Tom dot com

Me, Myself, or I

I try to consider the points of view of other people even if I am likely to disagree with someone’s opinion on a topic. I find it extremely difficult to give much intellectual credit to an argument in which there are misspelled words, poor use of grammar or punctuation, and incorrect use of words. If the person does not have the intellect to state his or her opinion correctly, why is it incumbent upon me to decipher it to figure out what the person really means, and then hold the opinion in high esteem?

The same is true in advertising and news. If I see misspelled words, or poor grammar usage, I do not take whatever else is written seriously. You simply cannot expect me to think you are worthy of my business, or high consideration of your opinion, if you do not take the time to edit your work to make certain you are spelling words, or using words, correctly.

Choosing the correct word should be something we strive for even in casual conversation.

Three words that are not interchangeable, and are commonly misused, are "me," "myself," and "I." These words seem to be most commonly used incorrectly in lists. Here are some simple rules for determining which word is the correct word to use in your sentence.

"Myself" is rarely, if ever, the correct word to use in a list. It denotes a lack of participation by others. "I did it myself" means no one else helped me do it. If others participated in something, it is the wrong word to use. "Jim, Pete, and myself went to the movies" is not simply awkward, it is absolutely incorrect. Unless you did something by yourself, "myself" is the incorrect word to use.

An example of a list in which it would be the correct word to use would be something on the order of "he made that himself, she made those herself, and I made this myself." Other than a list similar to that, "myself" is the incorrect word to use.

There is a simple way to determine if the correct word to use in a list is "me" or "I." All you need to do is remove the other people from the list, and determine if you would say "me" or "I."

For example, you would say "I went to the store." It is the correct word to use in a list of people who went to the store with you, i.e. "Sue, Joan, and I went to the store."

If stated differently, the correct word may be "me." You would say "Sue went to the store with me." As such, it is correct to say "Sue went to the store with Joan and me."

It really is that simple!

So, the next time you see Russell Wilson post a picture from Children’s Hospital with the caption "this child had his picture taken with Macklemore and I," it can also bother you that someone with a college diploma, and who is known for his decision making in split second situations, has used the word "I" incorrectly!

Some other things I've written about: