I am not a pedant. I wouldn’t dare, as my knowledge of grammar isn’t 100% perfect. I accept that people have different ideas about what constitutes good usage and that a lot of them think that, as long as effective communication takes place, rules can be broken. Hence I barely flinch when I see the sign “10 items or less” in my local supermarket. The involuntary shudder caused in me by a misplaced apostrophe is imperceptible to the human eye. You will not find me point out to someone that they used “their” instead of “there” (although I may tut inwardly).
However, there is one mistake that I find unbearable. It’s the continued mistreatment of reflexive pronouns by a large portion of society. I recently received an email ending with “I will send it to yourselves” and it’s all I could do not to send back an email answering “Yourself is very kind.”
There is one simple rule for reflexive pronouns: they always refer to the subject of the sentence. That’s why “I will send it to yourselves” is wrong: the subject (I) and the object (plural you) are different. However, “I will send it myself” would have been right: here, the subject is emphasized by the use of its reflexive pronoun.
I was talking to a coworker, a