Today is National Grammar Day
Does it really, really bother you when someone uses “literally” when they really mean “figuratively”? Do you wish bodily harm on people who write “could of” when they mean “could have”? Do you consider the use (or non-use) of the Oxford comma to be sign of psychopathy? Congratulations! You may be a Grammar Nazi: the only kind of Nazi it’s still okay to be outside of a CPAC convention.
I’m not really a Grammar Nazi. I’m more of a Grammar Nationalist, I guess. I understand that everyone makes mistakes sometimes and I also allow that some people (not me of course) find it easier to communicate on social media using grammatical short-cuts, unrecognized word contractions and even (shudder) emojis.
Also, I’m willing to grant offenders the benefit of the doubt. For instance, when I just typed “emojis”, my auto-correct tried to change it to, “emoji’s”. I did not mean to use the possessive case for the noun “emoji”, auto-correct!
So, even though I can’t bring myself to text in anything other than complete sentences and despite that fact that it absolutely GALLS me that my blogs (like this one) are not indented properly when they appear on the website, I am still willing to give people a pass.
Except in a few very special cases. These are the ones that are so obviously wrong that it takes extra effort just to f*** them up. But I’m not just going to complain about them. I’m actually going to make it so appearant that you’ll ever make the mistake again. You’re welcome.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY: Supposably
WHAT THEY MEAN: Supposedly
HOW TO REMEMBER: The root word you’re using here is “supposed” as in, “Bill was supposed to be here by 11”. Somehow, when the sentence structure is changed the “d” gets turned into a “be” resulting in, “Supposably, Bill was going to be here by 11”. You wouldn’t say “Bill was supposeb to be hear by 11”. That’s because “supposeb” isn’t a word. Keep that in mind from now on.
WHAT PEOPLE WRITE: Loose
WHAT THEY MEAN: Lose
HOW TO REMEMBER: If you want to hang “loose” you have to “lose” that extra “o”.
WHAT PEOPLE WRITE: Alot
WHAT THEY MEAN: A lot
HOW TO REMEMBER: This one’s easy. If you’re typing it your computer will automatically change it to “a lot”. If it has a squiggly red line underneath it, go back and change it manually because you’re still doing it wrong. “Alot” is not a word that exists in the English language.
WHAT PEOPLE WRITE: There or Their
WHAT THEY MEAN: They’re
HOW TO REMEMBER: “They’re” is a contraction for “they are”. You’re just dropping the space and the “a” and adding an apostrophe. If it’s still too hard to understand maybe you just can’t trust yourself with the dangerous time-savers that are contractions. Maybe you should consider avoiding contractions altogether and just start saying “they are” and “he is”. You’ll sound like a robot but at least you won’t sound like an idiot.
Here are some of the “pet peeves” that commenters on our Facebook video stream suggested. Now, technically, some of these are more colloquialisms or regionalisms than they are grammatical errors. Take them however you like.