There is no disagreement over the use of myself
and other -self
forms when they are used intensively (I myself cannot agree
) or reflexively (He introduced himself proudly
). Questions are raised, however, when the -self
forms are used instead of the personal pronouns (I, me,
etc.) as subjects, objects, or complements. Myself
occurs only rarely as a single subject in place of I: Myself was the one who called.
The recorded instances of such use are mainly poetic or literary. It is also uncommon as a simple object in place of me
: Since the letter was addressed to myself, I opened it.
As part of a compound subject, object, or complement, myself
and to a lesser extent the other -self
forms are common in informal speech and personal writing, somewhat less common in more formal speech and writing: The manager and myself completed the arrangements. Many came to welcome my husband and myself back to Washington. Myself
and other -self
forms are also used, alone or with other nouns or pronouns, in constructions after as, than,
in all varieties of speech and writing: The captain has far more experience than myself in such matters. Orders have arrived for everyone but the orderlies and yourself.
There is ample precedent, going as far back as Chaucer and running through the whole range of British and American literature and other serious formal writing, for all these uses. Many usage guides, however, state that to use myself
in any construction in which I or me
could be used instead (as My daughter and myself play the flute
instead of My daughter and I,
or a gift for my husband and myself
instead of for my husband and me
) is characteristic only of informal speech and that such use ought not to occur in writing. See also me