Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Grammar on the Porch #8

Is it just me or do high school English classes slide further and further away with every year? Thank goodness we have "Grammar on the Porch". Good old Grammar loves to visit The Letterbug from time to time for a nice cup of tea and a natter about the English language. She knows you know - really she does. But just in case...

Image kindly supplied by Toni Grote - visit to see more of her beautiful artwork.

Good afternoon dears! Forgive any stuttering and stumbling over my words this afternoon, good gracious it is COLD here on the porch today! Grammar was even forced to pop on her thermal underwear, ha ha ha...

Now then, Grammar has just a wee bit more to add from her last visit, when we talked about 'Me' vs. 'I'. If you haven't read
Grammar on the Porch #7, it might be worth skipping off to read it now. Just be sure you skip straight back here and continue on once you're done!

'Myself' and 'Yourself'

It may be tempting to avoid the whole puzzle of when to use 'I' and when to use 'me' by simply using 'myself' instead.

E.G. "Please send a menu of your finest cakes and pastries to Grandpa and myself."

Be strong - don't give in to this particular temptation! Grammar's advice is to save your "giving-in-to-temptations" for chocolate, fine wine and custard creams. The sentence written above is grammatically incorrect and can be as bad (if not worse) than getting your 'I's and 'Me's mixed up.

Incorrect: I'll send a menu of our finest cakes and pastries to Grammar and yourself.

Correct: I'll send a menu of our finest cakes and pastries to you and Grammar.

You can use 'myself' and 'yourself' correctly in only two situations:

1. To create emphasis or contrast.

"Grandpa likes lardy cakes for afternoon tea, but I myself prefer a cream bun."

2. When you are doing something to yourself

"I ask myself, why stop at one cream bun when you can eat three?"

"You're making it hard for yourself by using that wobbly old cup and saucer."

So there you have it, another piece in the never-ending puzzle that is "Grammar on the Porch". And it is so brisk out here this afternoon that I think I'll have a piece of warm apple strudel with my cup of tea - mmmmmm.

See you next time!

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