Don’t Be So Selfish

Somehow, “me” has picked up a bad reputation, folks frequently using “myself” or “I” in the mistaken belief that “me” should be avoided.

Maybe it stems from the rule that you never use “me” as the subject. Wrong: “John and me went to the store.” Right: “John and I went to the store.”

But as the object, “me” is correct: “The clerk gave John and me a dirty look.”

In the effort to avoid using “me,” especially with plural objects, sentences like the following are common: “They bought the tickets for John and myself.” “They bought the tickets for John and I.”

Knowing better, I still catch myself using “to ‘so-and-so’ and I” in speech.

“Myself” is correct in the previous sentence because it follows the use of “I,” becoming the object of my own action.

It’s also correct to use “myself” as an intensive pronoun: “I myself prefer the summer.” “I did it myself.”

To check usage, try making the subjects or objects singular: “Me went to the store.” “The clerk gave I a dirty look.” “They bought the tickets for myself.”  It’s pretty easy to tell which is correct that way!

Joy Eckel, Freelance Copy Editor
Email for a free sample edit and estimate!

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