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I find that in persuasive conversation, whether written or oral, it is sometimes useful to draw attention to the "I" in the sentence, giving the connotation that you are confessing or conceding to some degree. There are two common ways to do this, that I can think of:

I myself have done this once in a while...

or

Even I have done this once in a while...

The first just feels like bad grammar. The second seems far too pretentious; often giving the connotation that the speaker is normally "above" such behavior.

Is there another way to communicate this meaning without such negatives?

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The second can also have the opposite connotation: "Even I managed to use this software!", meaning that the speaker is usually not very good when it comes to computers. –  nico Apr 19 '11 at 16:55
    
True - good point. It seems to have the connotation of placing the speaker in the opposite position to the normal interpretation of the activity, whether good or bad. –  NickC Apr 19 '11 at 16:57
    
I, Renesis, have done this once in a while. –  z7sg Ѫ Apr 19 '11 at 17:12
    
"Personally, I do this all the time." or "Now, I do this all the time, but your mileage may vary." –  advs89 Apr 19 '11 at 17:42
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"I, for one, never do this" –  Sam Apr 19 '11 at 19:01
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I, too, have done this...

calls attention to it, while merely including yourself humbly in the long list of people who have done it.

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I myself is fine grammatically, but two things. If it's conversational I have is too stilted. Also myself is more idiomatic at the end. Thus

I've done this once in a while myself.

I think you're right about "Even I".

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+1 for I've ... myself. Humble, objective, and seems most natural to the ear. –  HaL Apr 19 '11 at 17:41
    
It's the I've that makes the difference, not just putting myself at the end. Even I've done this once in a while. –  Lunivore Apr 19 '11 at 20:32
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"I myself" isn't bad grammar. You can use a reflexive pronoun that way as an intensifier, which is exactly what you want. But it's not exactly a common construction, especially in speech. I think it could come across as formal or outdated.

If you are describing why not to do X, then saying "even I" is not IMO pretentious because you aren't saying "even I, who would normally be above this behaviour" you're saying "even I, who you would expect to know better since I'm the one making this case".

Even I have to drive my own car

Pretentious. What, we should think you deserve a chauffeur?

Even I find myself boring sometimes

Not pretentious, people are expected to find themselves less boring than others do.

Another possible workaround if you're explaining everything anyway:

"X is a bad idea because ... Despite that, I have done this once in a while because ..."

This way if the second "..." is "I'm lazy" then you give more than a slight connotation of confessing, you come out and say it directly :-)

You could still intensify the "I" with "myself" or "even", but I think it's less necessary because you're creating a different kind of drama with "despite".

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