Shawn Says So

In the coming months, you may see me rave or rant a time or two on issues that are germane to our business or family lives. The intention is to promote thought and debate, as I am sure I will get it wrong half of the time. I look forward to your correction. As you can imagine, there are many things that disturb me, but none less than the errant use of the word “myself”. Astute business people are using this word in sentences like: “Myself, Joe and Frank will be attending the meeting today.” Really?? If the errant use of “I” or “me” doesn’t drive you mad, the epidemic of the misuse of “myself” will surely kill you. Why do people misuse the word. I believe it is because they are afraid to get the “I” or “me” incorrect, so they go out of their way to destroy an otherwise perfect reflexive pronoun. For the record, using the word “me” is okay. No one will think any less of you. Rather, they will actually know who you mean when you use it as opposed to the word “myself,” which sounds like the evil twin at the lollipop guild.

Here is a refresher:

(1) “Me” or “I” is almost always a better option than “myself.” If you’re not sure which to choose, try the lose-an-object test.

a. “Give the lattes to John and ?” Lose an object (John), and the sentence now says, “give the lattes to me,” which is correct. “Give the lattes to I” is not. Nor is “Give the lattes to myself.”

b. In the case of the restaurant experience where your waiter says “myself will be with you in a moment,” the correct sentence is “I will be with you in a minute.” “Me will be with you in a minute” is as wrong, wrong, wrong, as “Myself with be with you in a minute.” Sorry, I got angry there for a moment.

c. “I am going to the movies” works just great. “Me is going to the movies” works about as well as “Myself is going to the movies,” which means you are definitely not going.

The word ‘myself’ is what’s called a reflexive pronoun and when properly used in a sentence, always refers back to the subject. For example, You’d say, ‘I see myself in the mirror. ‘You see your reflection, and ‘myself is a reflexive pronoun. You use reflexive pronouns to refer to the subject of a sentence again, later in the sentence. For example, you could say, ‘I see myself playing marimbas,’ or, ‘I’m going to treat myself to a mud bath.’ In both these cases you are the object of your own action.

Let’s get this right, and then we can move on to the improper use of “at” in ‘where are you (at)?’

The League of Extraordinary Clients

This issue we would like to give a shout out to our client Tosk, Inc.! Why, because they are doing extraordinary things! Did you know that Tosk, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers and develops new drugs for cancer and other diseases. They are developing new pharmaceutical products to reduce the undesirable side effects of existing drugs while maintaining their efficacy. Side effects limit the use and effectiveness of many of today’s pharmaceutical products. Tosk’s approach will allow treatment regimens to improve and help lower the cost of research and development. We are impressed.

Steppin’ Out

Come join Tacey Goss PS with our bi-yearly Case Notes event September 27th! This is a special evening of tuneful merriment with our valued clients, colleagues and friends. Live music will be hosted by your one and only Shawn Tacey & Chip Goss. Don’t forget about the karaoke, games and great food! Good company always makes these events truly memorable.

Make sure to save the date on your calendar: September 27th, 2013 5:00pm – 7:00pm.

This event is at our offices, 330 112th Ave NE, Suite 301, Bellevue, WA 98004.
Space is limited, so please call 425.489.2878 or email Sherrie@TaceyGoss.com to RSVP.

Chip’s Tea Leaves

July is the time we celebrate the founding of our nation, and it is an important opportunity to reflect upon the principles that bind us together. I recently returned from D.C. and Philadelphia where I stood on the ground of our forefathers. I was reminded of the boldness of their actions. It is simply astounding for the colonists to have declared their independence from the greatest military power in the world when they had only a relatively untested, one-year-old army. Where would our government “of the people, by the people, for the people” be if we had lost the Revolutionary War? And with what’s happening in Egypt, it’s even more compelling that George Washington resigned his commission when some wanted to make him King. So, I encourage you to take time this July to reflect upon the liberty our forefather’s fought for and whether we are living up to their ideal that the people hold and restrict the power of our government.

I believe that the power of the people is substantially threatened by our current government’s domestic spying apparatus, and it is the defining issue of our generation. Some say that the NSA is no concern because we willingly have allowed private companies to track us. (Personally, I don’t use Google or Facebook precisely because I fear they are pre-Orwellian corporations). But private companies do not have the power of an army, the power to decide what is criminal, and the power to take away your liberty. While we honor and mourn the tragic loss of 3,000 lives in the terrorist attacks on 911, more than ten times that number are killed by drunk drivers every year. Yet we don’t spend billions screening and surveilling ourselves for drunk drivers. From Putin in Russia who was elected to put down the Chechen terrorists and never left, or Hitler who was elected to restore German order, or even the droid army whom the Jedi hired to fight the evil empire in Star Wars, it is an age-old story that the insidious slide from liberty to tyranny may begin with a small trade for security. Benjamin (“B. Free”) Franklin wrote: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” This July, think about it!

Hand Me The Megaphone

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WA Supreme Court Rocks

You may not have noticed, but the companies that you interact with everyday have turned the tables on you. Chances are, your cell phone service, your internet provider, and your credit card issuers have mandatory arbitration provisions in your service agreements that significantly limit your consumer rights. Thank goodness the Washington Supreme Court has ruled for consumers in three recent decisions. Read the entire article at Taceygoss.com.