The following post comes from my wife and business partner Megan Dahle. Megan is an extremely intelligent person who gets irritated when people screw things up constantly - as you will see with the following post. It is some great advice if you are going to give a presentation or speech, so pay attention, you might just learn something - and while the picture is of De La Soul, that's not what the post is about.
Warning: I’m about to get on my high horse about grammar. I’m not claiming I use grammar perfectly whenever I speak or write, but thanks primarily to my mother and Mr. Beck (a great English teacher from Milbank - a little weird, but great), I get it right most of the time. That said, I have a pet peeve I’d like to share with you that can prevent you from sounding like an idiot. Kids are raised to never say “me”, mainly because they’re using it in the wrong context. Does this sound familiar? “Jake and me are going to the pool!” “No, dear. Jake and I are going to the pool.” And so it continues all through childhood. We get to the point where “Me” = BAD so we stop using it. And what has replaced it? “Myself”. It’s disgusting. I once read an email that ended in “If you have any questions, please get back to myself”. What?! That doesn’t make a lick of sense. People even use it to replace “I”. “Jake and myself are going to the pool!” “That’s nice, honey. Don’t forget to take sunscreen. Bring it back to myself when you’re done.” “Myself” doesn’t belong in either of those sentences. “Myself” is reflexive, meaning you’re doing something to yourself. “I put sunscreen on myself.”
So here are a few hints for you: 1) If there’s an “and” right before “myself”, it’s probably wrong. It should most likely be “me” or “I” in that location. “Jake and I are going to the pool.” 2) How can you tell which one it should be? Can your replace the “_____ and myself” with “we” or “us”? If it’s “we”, use “I”. If it’s “us”, use “me”.
Grammar is a huge part of presentations. Anyone that uses grammar improperly in front of an intelligent audience looses credibility instantly. And all audiences are intelligent, or at least you should assume so, but that’s a topic for another time.