Pronouns

Q. I frequently read and hear what I believe is misuse of the first person reflexive pronoun “myself.” For example, someone sent me an e-mail requesting that I send him information. He wrote, “Please forward the information to myself.” Today I read a statement made by President Clinton [in 1997]. He said, “I have no recollection of ordering Trooper Ferguson to arrange a meeting between myself and Ms. Jones.” Is this correct? Or would it have been more correct to say “between me and Ms. Jones” or “between Ms. Jones and me”?

A. “Between Ms. Jones and me” is correct, although the use of “me” as the object of a preposition is beginning to disappear from American speech. You will often hear people say, for instance, “Now she’s really annoyed with John and I.” This mistake falls into the category of “genteelisms,” or constructions that sound proper whether they are correct or not. On the other hand, perhaps in some kind of deplorable compensation, the use of “I” as a subject is also increasingly rare. Young people routinely say, “Me and Rocko went to the gym last night.” As for “myself,” see CMOS 5.48: “Compound personal pronouns . . . are used for two purposes: (1) for emphasis (they are then termed intensive pronouns) {I saw Queen Beatrice herself} {I’ll do it myself}; and (2) to refer to the subject of the verb (in which case they are termed reflexive pronouns) {he saved himself the trouble of asking} {we support ourselves}.” Your example fits neither of these categories.