Me, Myself and I

MeMyselfIIt is true, English is a difficult language. I should know. I’ve been studying it for a very long time – formally and casually. I doubt I will ever master it.

Several years ago, Carol and I took a  New Testament Greek class. Our professor and friend, Ben Lawton, was a Greek geek. No he was a linguistic geek. His background included teaching New Testament Greek in Italian for over 15 years. One of the many things he emphatically stated was, “Words are slippery.” Meaning definitions of words are evolving and ever-changing. Grammar also changes.

Here is an interesting article about grammar evolution from The Lexiteria Corporation.

Reading Speed Bumps

The other day, my S.I.L sent me a message regarding some of my recent posts. She kindly let me know that she discovered a few errors that distracted her as she read them. I went back to take a look and, sure enough, there they were. Errors that were larger than life, reading speed bumps, in my posts.

I can certainly understand how writing errors can be a distraction. They also distract me as I read. The incorrect use of Me, Myself and I is one speed bump that always causes me to stumble.

Which sentences are correct?*

  1. Carol and myself are going to get me a new shirt.
  2. Carol and I are going to get me a new shirt.
  3. Please send the check to Carol and me.
  4. Please send the check to Carol and myself.
  5. They are giving Carol and I an award.
  6. They are giving Carol and me an award.
  7. I see myself in the mirror.
  8. I see me in the mirror.

Another grammatical speed bump that always trips me up is the misuse of that and who. As an example, our local media reporters often refer to individuals as ‘that’, not ‘who’. I may have not enjoyed my English classes in school but I did learn a few tricks. It is always people who and things that. This is a loose generalization but it is pretty accurate.

LittleBrownHandbookIn my pre-retirement days, I kept a copy of The Little, Brown Handbook, 7th Ed.  nearby. It served as a handy reference whenever I got confused with about the proper use of English grammar. Remember that Greek professor I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Ben Lawton? He is the person who introduced me to this remarkable little book. Thanks, Ben, for that recommendation.

I now use a cool on-line resource – The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation.  I hope that will be helpful to you also.

Now I am going to get me a cup of coffee by myself.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.


*The correct sentences are  #’s 2, 3, 6, & 7.



12 responses to “Me, Myself and I

  1. I am fond of your blog!

  2. It never fails if I make a mistake one of my daughters immediately sends me a text noting it! LOL! ~Elle

  3. Good one! Having been a proofreader at various jobs in the past, I understand the speed bump analogy! 🙂

  4. I like your blog, Jerry! I cringe when I re-read something I’ve written and see glaring mistakes. I have flashbacks of the red slashes in my high school English class. My goal is to not only get my content across, but trying to make sure it is well written. So, if you ever happen to see errors in mine or ways that I can write more eloquently, please let me know. Constructive criticism is always a learning tool.

    Hopefully, in a year or so, when the hubby and I hit the road full time, we’ll cross paths. Meantime, happy trails!

  5. I like to write but grammar is a challenge for me. 🙂 Great Post!

  6. So, am I going to be the bad guy and tell you that the verb in the third sentence is not correct? LOL I think you meant to say ‘I have been studying…’ We’re all in the same spot really. We try to write correctly but sometimes our fingers and brain don’t work together. And, when we read it back we read it the way we meant it to be. Don’t be too hard on yourself. 🙂

  7. Your post came to the right time!!! You should not have told me that you had studied English… My better half and me have been discussing one night how I should call my next post ( Is the garment depicted there a: shirt, sweatshirt, long-sleeved shirt, pullover, sweater, or jumper? As I am no native speaker, I am a bit helpless. In my understanding, a shirt is what business men wear at work and a sweater is knitted. But what is difference between the other terms? Can you help me and maybe dedicate a post to this topic? I would highly appreciate that!!! Do you also know why “sew” is not pronounced as “drew” or “flew”??? Thanks in advance and best wishes to the two of you, Jana

    • Jana, the garment depicted in the photo looks like a sweatshirt.
      Men wear shirts, women wear blouses. You are correct by stating a sweater is netted. A pullover is a name for a sweater that must be pulled over the head. Sweatshirts can be worn by men or women. ‘Jumper’ normally refers to a garment that covers upper and lower body. Similar to pants and shirt together. I hope this helps.
      English is a tricky language. This is why words that look alike are pronounced differently. “Sew” and “drew” is a good example. And English words are not always logical. As an example, you park the car in the driveway, and you drive the car on the parkway. Very confusing. From reading your blog, I cannot tell that English is not your native language.

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