TIPSY Today™ Blog with Rogena & Colleen | A Footprint of RMJ Editing & Manuscript Service, Colleen Snibson Editing, and Two Red Pens Editing
TIPSY TODAY with Rogena
REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS — I myself would like to reflect for a moment...
What is a reflexive pronoun?
Myself is a reflexive pronoun. To remember this, think of looking in a mirror and how you see your REFLECTION.
When is it correct to use the reflexive pronoun 'myself'?
Consider this sentence: "If you are looking for answers to your grammar questions, you can Google your question, or you can contact myself for answers."
Now think about the above question if I exclude the reference to Google: "If you are looking for answers to your grammar questions, you can contact me for answers." (I wouldn't and shouldn't say 'contact myself', so for this reason, the first sentence should say, ...you can Google [...] or you can contact me, not ...you can contact myself.)
So the above is an example of when not to use reflexive pronouns such as myself, himself, themselves, etc. If you remove the 'others' in the sentence and you wouldn't normally use 'myself' 'alone', then you shouldn't use it 'with', either.
However, no matter what MS Word and other grammar checkers might say, the use of reflexive pronouns is not TABOO.
When you use a reflexive pronoun for emphasis, the reflexive pronoun is then also known as an intensive pronoun—you would use it to show intensity—or emphasis.
An example would be something like this: "If you submit your manuscript to RMJ Manuscript Service, I myself will edit it for you." I emphasized I would personally edit for you, so using 'myself' IS okay to use.
Other examples of sentences with and without--
and acceptable either way:
These are all showing emphasis and show 'I', 'she', and 'they' are the objects of their own actions. They are grammatically correct with or without the reflexive pronoun AND, most importantly, they show it is OKAY to use them in your writing.
WITH THAT SAID, you CAN overuse them, just as you can overuse any word in your writing. Use them to show emphasis and to enhance your story, but don't drown your story with them.
(Other reflexive pronouns include words like himself, herself, themselves, itself, yourself, ourself.)
EJ Runyon, thanks for the request for today's TIPSY post!
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TIPSY TODAY with Rogena © RMJ MS 01/29/15
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