Friday, August 24, 2007

The misuse of words

"Words mean things."

That cannot be said enough. Words mean things because words have meanings and proper usages. You are probably wondering what I am talking about. Here is the set up:

Yesterday on a local radio station, the Mayor of a medium sized town announced that it was going to be possible to "dunk" a politician in the park this weekend.

The esteemed Mayor then began to say who was going to be available to "dunk". She said (paraphrased), "Town councilman So and So, county commissioner Such and Such, Myself and city manager Thus and Such will all be there."

Myself...? Myself...? Where was this person educated? Were they even educated?

I simply do not understand why people think they use Myself in a sentence in such an incorrect manner. I don't know if they think using "I" sounds self abosorbed or if they think that Myself sounds sophisticated.

There are proper uses for the pronoun Myself:

"I did it by myself."

"I found myself standing alone in the rain."

"Running by myself is easier than running with a partner."

"I tried to do it by myself, but it was too great a task."

The examples of correct useage could go on and on.

Here are some improper usages of the pronoun Myself:

"Three people put this dinner on, Jane, Carol and Myself."

"The speakers at next week's meeting will be Myself and two other linguistic experts."

"Myself and the committe wish to thank all of the little people who helped get this event together."

The examples of incorrect use are all too common.

To me the improper use of Myself is pretentious. It shows a lack of understanding of the word Myself and it's place in the English language. If you misuse the word Myself it leads me to believe that you actually have a very low view of yourself, and you need help!

Now on to another misuse of a word. My ex-brother-in-law (whew, that is a lot of dashes) likes to use the word Thusly.

I think he believes it makes him think that he is well read.

To me it makes him sound, well, pretentious. Look up the word "Thusly" in the dictionary. Oh wait, I will do that for you (below). Thusly is not an actual word. It is said to be used in a humorous manner.

Well, I don't find it humorous. I find it moronic. I want to poke the bloke in the nose every time he uses the word. (Can you tell that I am glad that he is an ex?)

Come on here, what is wrong with just speaking the language and not trying to get fancy with it. It seems like these people think they get "style points" for the new and exciting ways they come up with to use words.

Well for me, there are NO "style points" for the misuse of words. You can quote me on that!

The misuse of words will be an ongoing subject of my blog, so enjoy!


us·age (plural us·ag·es) n

1. act or way of using something: the act of using something, the way something is used, or how much something is used

2. accepted practice: a customary and generally accepted practice or procedure

3. way language is actually used: the way in which words and phrases are actually used in speech or writing

4. example of language use: an example of a particular use of language

5. treatment of something: the handling or treatment of something
[13th century. Via Old French from, ultimately, Latin usus (see use1).]

my·self pron

1. refers back to speaker: used to refer to the speaker or writer (first person reflexive pronoun, used when the object of a verb or preposition refers to the same person as the subject of the verb)

I didn’t enjoy myself very much.

Of all the people I am hard on, I am hardest on myself.

2. refers emphatically to speaker: refers emphatically to the speaker or writer

I’m curious about that myself.

I can’t expect you to be able to read my writing; I myself can’t read it.

3. my normal self: my normal or usual self I haven’t been myself since the accident.
[Old English mÄ“seolf , literally “me self” ( self in the obsolete sense of “same”)]

thus adv

1. consequently: as a result (formal)

2. like this: in this way (formal)

3. to this degree: to this degree or extent
[Old English ]
thus far up to this point The evidence thus far suggested that he was innocent.

thus·ly adv

thus: thus (humorous)

All definitions are from the following source:

Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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