I’ve had it. Do you think I’m too picky? Maybe I am. But, why is it that seemingly talented people who can speak English, don’t speak it correctly? Here’s what is driving me nuts. I was in a client meeting recently. A senior manager was presenting to his team. What he said was the first thing that set me off. You tell me if I’m too sensitive.
If I hear one more misuse of the word “myself,” I’m going to make the speaker return to high school English class. Mr. Manager said, “John and myself will be leading the new project team.” That was like nails on a chalkboard. Hey, Mr. Manager, all you have to do to determine the correct word is take away the other subject (John) and see how the sentence sounds with “myself.” Would any educated person think it sounds correct to say, “Myself will be leading the new project team”? I seriously doubt it. Yet I hear the misuse of “myself” constantly. I think some people believe that saying “myself” makes them sound smarter. It doesn’t sound smart to me. I don’t think they’re dumb, either. When I hear someone use “myself” incorrectly I think that they’re probably pretentious–and that they weren’t listening to their high school English teacher.
Then there are the mispronunciations of words that cause me to grit my teeth. I’ve lived in many parts of the country. I can accept that regionally there are different pronunciations of some words. I’ve heard “roof” pronounced “rough” in some parts of the country. That is fine with me. But, what is with the word “height?” I’ve heard educated people say, “The heighth is eight feet.” There is no “th” sound at the end of the word “height”! I guess this whole mispronunciation thing really got out of hand when we had to listen to the President of the United States mispronounce words for the last eight years. Do you ever wonder why one of his high-powered advisers didn’t tell him that he sounds like an ignoramus when he pronounces “nuclear” as “nucular?”
Now that I’m on a roll, please tell me that you know how to correctly use the words “I” and “me.” If you’re looking to recruit people to work with you on a project, there is only one correct way to say it. You would say, “I really want you to work on the committee with John and me.” It’s not “John and I” no matter how many times you hear it. Any preposition (with) is followed by “me,” not “I.” Again, you don’t say, “with I.” You say, “with me.”
If you were one of the people asleep in high school English, it’s never too late to learn the correct way to speak English. There are plenty of grammar websites today. Just Google “grammar” + whatever word usage question you have. You’ll see lots of sites that can give you grammar advice. Just make sure you take the advice. If I hear one more person interjecting “like” after every other word in a sentence, I am going to scream. That would drive my adrenalin to new heights (no “th.”) What about you? Are you and I (not “me”) on the same page about these English issues driving you crazy? Or am I just too sensitive?