Not all that long ago when I was still a lawyer I had a client who would not only say "Pacifically" but would also write "Pacifically" in his letters to me complete with capitalisation (letters...ok it was a while ago). He was the MD of a major client so I really could not correct him and it drove me mad. 

I am now driven insane by a phenomenon I can only describe as "telephone language". What is it about a phone that makes an otherwise rational person convert "You" into "Yourself". I have, in the last week alone heard "It's up to yourself" AND "feel free to contact ourselves if you have any questions". Do these people go to the pub and say to their friend (I assume the singular for some reason) "would yourself like a pint?".

I think we may be at a point at which the use of reflexive pronouns should be a licensed activity reserved to those who are able to demonstrate that they are able to use such words safely and responsibly in public. 

Victor Meldrew


Mark Husband