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Tom Chivers in The Telegraph on the "estate agent's self" and how it impacts our linguistic bottom line:
I call it the "estate agents' self": the pointless upgrading of "me" to "myself", or "you" to "yourself". "We'll arrange a meeting between the client and yourself at a later date"; "Myself and the vice-president of accounts will be reviewing your pay scale at the end of the fiscal year."
If you watch The Apprentice, you'll know what I mean. Roughly half of all discussions go: "Who came up with this bladdy stoopid idea?" "That was myself, Lord Sugar." But it's spreading beyond its natural home among pinstriped management-consultancy graduates, and into into the wider world.
This week England's Jonathan Trott said of his relationship with his fellow batsman Ian Bell: "Belly and myself are working just as hard as each other." At the Leveson inquiry, we heard James Murdoch refer to "my father or myself" and "the company and myself"; Tom Crone, his former lawyer, complained about "Mr Murdoch's attack on Colin Myler and myself." And, most shameful of all, Jeremy Hunt, the culture (!) secretary, told the House of Commons about "correspondence between News Corporation and myself."
Myself-abuse is just the tip of the iceberg. When faced with intimidating social or professional situations, we naturally try to make ourselves sound more intelligent, more commanding. Unfortunately, that sometimes means using words that we don't fully understand, or that don't actually add anything to our meaning. "Whilst" and "amongst" instead of "while" and "among" are prime examples. Management-speak is filled with this nonsense: "action" as a verb rarely means anything that "do" doesn't; "impact", while not being any longer than "affect", sounds more important, because it's newer and therefore more exciting.
Some good takeaways from this piece, which I will action -- or perhaps re-visit next time I'm in the loop.