Myself, actually

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This entry is one in a series that tackles issues of proper word use and grammar in English.

Have you noticed how the word “actually” has crept into more and more English sentences? It’s almost becoming the new “you know” in terms of overuse, though the latter is just a space filler. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to try stop using “actually” as much as possible. I think this is actually a good idea, you know?

The misuse of the word “myself” drives me crazy. Thanks to Scott Baldwin, I have a good link that explains this all to you: “I/Me/Myself” by Paul Brians. This is the crux of what he said about it:

Use “myself” only when you have used “I” earlier in the same sentence: “I am not particularly fond of goat cheese myself.” “I kept half the loot for myself.” All this confusion can easily be avoided if you just remove the second party from the sentences where you feel tempted to use “myself” as an object or feel nervous about “me.”

I think this last bit of advice is most useful to most people: just don’t use “myself.”

Also see: Series list: Proper word use and grammar in English


  1. My wife uses ‘actually’ and ‘honestly’ as the preface for every other sentence. Each time I call her on it, she gets fighting mad, too. I believe you’re speaking honestly, and that what you’re telling me is [actually] true, so stop being verbally redundant! She feels that’s equivalent to correcting someone’s spoken grammar. Maybe, but you sound ridiculous, and out of love, I don’t want you to come across in such an annoying way. Problem is, we tend to mimic others’ speech to an extent and I found myself saying ‘actually’ and want to kick myself in the ear. Stop it, just stop it!

    My own weakness is not getting to the point soon enough, trying to fill every crack with information. That’s a bad habit that makes me a bore.

  2. I have read your remarks on the use of “myself”. As I used “myself” in the headline, I felt much concerned with this problem.
    Your comment rsp. short explanation was very useful for me, so I thank you and at the same time I wish you a Merry Christmas time and a Happy New Year.

  3. Now I can’t understand why my comment is awaiting moderation. Please help me!

  4. Not to worry, Johann, I moderate all comments. Yours is now displayed.

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