Myself loves Yourself

I know that English is always changing. I know that I cannot stop a new usage.

The use of ‘myself’ instead of ‘I’ or ‘me’ and ‘yourself’ instead of ‘you’ really grates on my ears.
I feel like a minority of one on this. I have noticed this becoming more and more prevalent over the last 20 years. In my experience every person I have ever talked to for an extended time as used ‘myself’ and ‘yourself’ at least once in this way. It also seems to be being used in newspapers and books.
(Examples from wikipedia)
“Pat and myself went shopping” should be “Pat and I went shopping”
“Sam wants to give yourself a gift” should be “Sam wants to give you a gift”
“Joe likes myself and Alex” should be “Joe likes me and Alex”
These forms have passed into such common usage as to be considered acceptable by some.

I remember the first few times I received an email from bosses at work saying at the end “Any questions, call myself.” I remember thinking…if I have a question I should call myself ?
When I came back to Australia from Japan (after teaching English there for 2 years) I remember saying “How are you?” to people. They would often reply “Fine yourself.” I was puzzled about why I should fine myself. Until I realised they were saying “Fine. Yourself ?”
I now have people phoning me at work saying “I have an account with yourselves.” With ourselves?
Am I a minority of one who does not do this? Am I a minority of one in not liking this usage?

I don’t like it either. That makes two of ourselves, at least.

I know that people must do this, because the boards always seem to have someone complaining about it in a minr rants thread, or grammar thread, but I cannot recall in my life anyone actually using ‘myself’ or ‘yourself’ in that manner. Maybe it’s where I live? I’ve only ever lived in the northeast US, so perhaps this trend hasn’t gotten here yet?

Indeed, I would assume this to be an Australian issue.

Come to the Northern hemisphere friends, see the girls of Florida! Just leave the vegimite!

I was thinking something similar. I agree with the OP that it is wrong and annoying - but I have never seen it - or perhaps have never noticed it - in real life.

I at first thought this was a New Zealand thing. Then I moved to Australia. I thought it is happening here too. Then I realised it is happening everywhere. It is difficult to find links but there is Episode 173 of Seinfeld -The Bookstore. Kramer and Newman are looking for homeless people to strap to the rickshaw.
(Kramer and Newman are standing there with a rickshaw. Close by are three homeless guys in a line)

KRAMER: Alright, listen up. Now, you three have been hand-picked out of possibly dozens that applied. Now, what we’re looking for are motivated,
hard-working, homeless gentlemen like yourselves to pull rickshaws.
That is from

Apparently what I am complaining about is called untriggered reflexive pronouns.

I think maybe people use it because myself feels like ‘my self’, which is a normal noun phrase and they don’t have to worry about case for pronouns that way.

I’ve definitely heard it in the northeast US, when people are trying to be formal or businesslike. :rolleyes: “Please contact Joe or myself with the information.”

That particular example is common in American English and seems different to me from the examples in the OP. I’ve never heard anyone use “self” in the manner of the OP but it’s common to say “like yourself”, like ourselves", etc. when indicationg an example.

It’s certainly prevalent in the UK, and it bugs the bejeezus out of me.

I’m pretty sure the reason it has become so common is confusion over when to use “me” and when to use “I”. Probably people half-remember being told off for saying “Me and John are…” or whatever at school, and have got it into their heads that “me” is somehow incorrect usage in all cases. But then they realise that “If you’d like to discuss this, please get in touch with I” is stupid, and we’re stuck with “myself”.

In my experience it’s most often used when the speaker is referring to himself/herself and another person, e.g. “John and myself will be presenting…”.

As for “yourself”, I come across that less, but I have heard it as a stereotypical trait of Irish speakers, e.g. “Hello, good to see yourself.”

It’s the funny side-effect of ill-considered teaching of prescriptive norms - it just leads to other violations of the rules.

I get the feeling that some untriggered uses of reflexive pronouns exist for almost all speakers, and it’s just the exact extent of their usage that differs. After all, most people don’t actually look and see if every usage of Xself is preceded by an antecedent that c-commands it (the rules for when an antecedent is close enough to a pronoun to trigger reflexive usage are complex.) So most people are only going to notice the uses that they themselves wouldn’t use or are unfamiliar with. The Seinfeld quote, for instance, wouldn’t stick out at all to me.

I don’t doubt that the use of reflexive pronouns is being generalized to new situations - it’s something a lot of people have noticed, and (to echo something mentioned above) it’s a phenomenon I particularly associate with business-speak. But I think that it’s likely almost everybody does it to some extent; the rules for ordinary usage of reflexives are complicated enough that people simply wouldn’t notice an “untriggered” use per se - they only notice the uses that are unfamiliar. Casual gathering of linguistic data from daily life is not a particularly good tool to figure out whether a usage is new or substantially more common than it used to be. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the constructions mentioned in this thread go back decades or centuries.

I’m in the US (Pennsylvania) and I hear it fairly often (like gigi said, when people are trying to sound formal). I want to smack them.

Bob Dole has no idea what you’re talking about. Bob Dole doesn’t hear anything unusual about the way people use those words.

I hear it all the time - usually when someone is making a bad attempt to be formal or sound thoughtful.
It also shows up on reality shows - it’s my biggest grammar pet peeve.

I agree that it’s pretty common in the U.S. amongst people trying to sound formal, esp. people of limited educational background (although not them exclusively).

I wanna smack everyone who does that when I hear it, but, like all improper linguistic constructions I despise, I know I’ve made the same error as well.


I mostly hear it in a business setting - and I HATE IT! Stop it!

Most people are saying that it is heard mostly in business settings. It must be much more prevalent in Australia. I work in a call centre. The most common thing I hear from workers and the customers is “How are you ? Good. Yourself?” Both the other people I work work with and the customers say this. I even hear “How is yourself?”, which makes me cringe.
I also really dislike this usage- “Myself, I like soccer more than rugby.”
Whatever happened to “As for me, I like soccer more than rugby.”

“Allow myself to introduce … myself.” Great joke from Austin Powers that shows how stupid this usage is. I wonder how many people who watched the movie actually realised this was a joke.

Ever read an American police report? Listen to a cop talk about what he did or what just happened. Listen to a military guy give a briefing or a debriefing or anything for that matter. You will hear it 99% of the time.

Wherever uneducated people try to sound intelligent, you will hear it. Actually, much of the time, the speaker or writer should know better. There’s just something about briefings and debriefings that make these guys talk like idiots.

“The arresting officers consisted of Jones, Taylor, Richards, and Myself.”

“Alpha team will secure building 4. Myself and Bravo team will cordone the outer perimeter”

Arghhhhh… I can’t stand it!!

I once had a pompous boss who used this construction all the time. The worst offense was in a letter he wrote to a job applicant: “Myself and Bob enjoyed meeting with you . . .” <barf>

Not ‘Myself enjoyed meeting yourself’?

As I imagined, not long before you will hear ‘Myself loves yourself’.