How to Use Myself
Today's topic is how to use the word myself. Grammar Girl says that how to use myself is among the top 10 or 20 questions that people send in to the show. Here's an example:
Hi, Grammar Girl. This is Chuck Tomasi, your interim Grammar Guy from ChuckChat.com, home of podcasts too numerous to mention. I hear and see examples of the misuse of the word myself all the time. For example, an e-mail went out from HR like this, “Please contact Squiggly, Aardvark, or myself with questions.” Could you please help listeners know when the word myself is appropriate and when to use a more appropriate word? Thanks!
Excellent, Chuck! Let's dissect what's wrong with that sentence: "Please contact Squiggly, Aardvark, or myself with questions." The simplest way to think of it is like this: How would you say the sentence without Squiggly and the aardvark? Then it usually becomes obvious! You would say, “Please contact me with questions,” not, “Please contact myself with questions.” So when you add in Squiggly and the aardvark, that doesn't change anything. It's still correct to say, “Please contact Squiggly, aardvark, or me with questions.”
Most often, sometime is one word: He will wash the car sometime.When some is used adjectivally with time to mean a short time, a long time, or an indefinite time, then it should be written as two words: She has not heard from her friend in some time.
Related words that can be discussed here include the pronoun anyone and the adverb anytime which are written as one word, while the pronoun no one is two words, though you will sometimes see noone. The two-word spellings of any time and any one are used in these constructions: At any time during the program, you may excuse yourself. / If you want any one of these scarves, just let me know. The intended meaning drives the choice but some rules can help you make a choice. Some time is the choice when a preposition comes before it or a helping word follows it: A short time ago, I finished the project. / Some time ago, we had lunch together. Some time can be replaced with an equivalent phrase (like a short time, a long time), but sometime cannot, e.g.: They will get tested sometime during the school year. Sometime means an indefinite or unspecified time, esp. at a time in the future. In speech, you will know to choose some time if your emphasis/stress is on time.
The misuse of the words “affect” and “effect” is such an epidemic that some folks are considering assembling regional support groups to deal with the problem. But while the words are often used incorrectly, deciding whether to use affect or effect isn’t as tough to as you may think. Let me explain.
“Affect” is generally used as a verb: A affects B. The eye-patch affected my vision. In this sentence, the eye-patch (A) influenced my vision (B).
“Effect,” on the other hand, is almost exclusively used as a noun: A had an effect on B. Acting like a pirate has had a negative effect on my social life.
So the basic rule of thumb is that “affect” is almost always a verb and “effect” is usually a noun. There are deviations from this, but when in doubt, stick to the rule. If you need help remembering, think of this mnemonic device: The action is affect, the end result is effect.
Me or I?
for/to me is correct grammar (me is the object of the preposition). It is NOT correct to say, "Give the paper to her or I." It would be correct to say, "Give the paper to her or me."
Impact or impacted?
Impacted is not a verb. It is an adjective. It means tightly or immovably wedged in; driven together; densely populated or crowded; overcrowded.
Impact is used as a noun or a verb.
the striking of one thing against another; forceful contact; collision:
The impact of the colliding cars broke the windshield.
the impact of light on the eye.
the impact of Einstein on modern physics.
an impacting; forcible impinging:
the tremendous impact of the shot.
the force exerted by a new idea, concept, technology, or ideology:
the impact of the industrial revolution.
to drive or press closely or firmly into something; pack in.
to fill up; congest; throng:
A vast crowd impacted St. Peter's Square.
to collide with; strike forcefully:
a rocket designed to impact the planet Mars.
to have an impact or effect on; influence; alter:
The decision may impact your whole career. The auto industry will beimpacted by the new labor agreements.
to have impact or make contact forcefully:
The ball impacted against the bat with a loud noise.
to have an impact or effect:
Increased demand will impact on sales.
Something or some thing?
Here’s a trick you can use to remember some thing vs. something.
In general, you should always use the single-word something when referring to an unspecified object or concept. Although there are some situations where the two-word some thing would be grammatically acceptable, something is always more familiar and will be less likely to distract your audience.
To remember that something is the correct version of this word, remember that the compounds sometime and someone are also spelled as a single word, and they fill similar functions in sentences.