[Ads-l] Inquiring about "myself"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 23 21:08:52 UTC 2022

I can't be definitive, but I began noticing this decades ago. Indeed,
Oxford takes it back to Old English. A clear example comes from John Bunyan
in 1674:  "Your artificial squibbling suggestions to the world about

You've probably also noticed the opposite tendency: saying "for me" rather
than "for myself."  (E.g., "I'm buying this one for me.")  Possibly this
has become much more common in the past twenty or thirty years, but that's
just my impression. Oxford doesn't quite include it, but it does afford one
roughly comparable example from the 16th century: "Thinking to me [i.e., to
myself] they meant to gone us by."

Except for vocabulary, ordinary people in the past undoubtedly spoke rather
more like we do than literature suggests.


On Wed, Nov 23, 2022 at 3:39 PM Virginia Euwer Wolff <veuwerwolff at gmail.com>

> A question for ADS scholar/authorities: "Myself" as subject and/or object
> in everyday sentences? It's seeming to proliferate.  Recent examples
> (November 2022): "If you have questions, speak to myself or members of the
> committee." "Myself and members of the choir will give a concert on..."
> Does it reappear in cycles? Thank you for any replies at Thanksgiving time.
> Virginia Euwer Wolff
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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