Dear Administrative Professional Today:
What gives with everybody using the words “to myself” instead of “to me”? The administrative people around me always write things like: “Please send your response to my secretary or myself.” That makes no sense. But I see it everywhere, and it drives me crazy. Did someone make this grammatically correct and forget to tell me? — Connie in Texas
The misusage that you point out is fairly common. But there are only two situations that legitimately allow for using “myself” and other compound personal pronouns (yourself, himself, etc.):
- For emphasis, as in “I mailed the letter myself, so I know it went out.”
- When you want to turn the action back on the subject, as in, “Peter convinced himself that the budget wouldn’t work.”
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