Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Memo to litigants on TV judge shows, contestants on reality shows, guests on trashy daytime talk shows, and assorted other well-meaning but misguided Americans:

The next time you are about to utter the word “myself,” stop and think for a moment. Chances are pretty good – about 99.9% - that you will be using the word incorrectly.

When Judge Judy asks you who was at the bar when the fight started, don’t say, “My friend and myself were there.” In the Big Brother confession room, don’t say, “It’s up to myself to win the veto competition.” Don’t tell Maury you are “one million percent sure that the father is not myself.”

“Myself” is one of those words that people use because they think it will make them sound smart but usually has precisely the opposite effect. So just stop using it. Or better yet, stop talking altogether.

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