Get Your Grammar Right!!!

Hello!

As you probably might have known, yes, I am an English major. And as a person whose concentration is on reading, writing, and more writing, it is essential that I have impeccable grammar.

And I have to admit, I have pretty good grammar. At least, I try to; sometimes, I slip up, but for the most part, I aim for accuracy.

Unfortunately, though, not everyone has perfect or even close-to-perfect grammar. The grammar Nazi in me always cringes whenever I read posts or status updates on Facebook, Twitter, or even WordPress. Yes, even WordPress: granted, we sometimes don’t catch errors before publishing them, but if your posts are riddled with grammatical faults in each line, then we’re going to have a problem…

Seriously, I think technology/social media has made us “dumber” when it comes to spelling and grammar. We don’t proofread anymore: once we finish typing, we hit “Send” and off it goes into the cyber-world, with no chance of returning. Once it’s out there, it is subjected to critique, even criticism. Like a pack of wolves, your spelling errors just might eat you alive.

In any case, I have compiled a short list of the common grammatical errors that I have seen floating throughout the Internet. Really, people- get with the program. 😛

1. “Your/you’re.” This is the most frequently misused pair to ever surface on my Facebook Feed. My fingernails just curl at the sight of this atrocity. Posting something like “Your beautiful, babe” is just harrowing; IT’S NOT CORRECT! I would much rather you write the text-version “UR beautiful” as opposed to the incorrect word choice; at least “UR” can also imply the actual correct term “you’re.” Rule of thumb: “your” is a possessive (i.e. “your blanket,” “your teacup”), and you’re” is a contraction of “you are.” Get it straight!

2. “There/They’re/Their.” An irksome trio. It is amazing how people use “they’re” (which is probably the most complex term out of the three) to write something like “They’re is a dog.” NO! That’s not right! How can you turn something already complex into something so complicated? It’s simpler than that: like “you’re,” the word “they’re” is a contraction of “they are.” For “there,” it refers to a location (i.e. “He is sitting over there”), and “their” is the plural possessive (i.e. “their tree,” “their home”).

3. “To/Too/Two.” I can see people having trouble between “to” and “too,” but not “two.” It’s a number, for Christ’s sake! As for the other two (pun intended), “to” is a preposition, use for marking phrases like “I went to the store.” On the other hand, “too” is either used to mark a higher degree of something (i.e. “I ate too much,” “I ran too fast”) or placed at the end of a sentence to add or affirm the statement (i.e. “I feel the same way, too“). Another thing when using “too” is to add the comma before the word; I’ve seen cases where people don’t add in the comma, and for me, that’s a bit disconcerting.

4. “Its/It’s.” Ugh, I can’t stand it when people use this pair incorrectly. Like in the case of “they’re,” I have seen people complicate it by writing “The dog scratched it’s back.” INCORRECT! Again, whenever you have a contraction, it is bringing together two words; in the case of “it’s”= “it is.” “Its” is the possessive once more: “its towel,” “its back.”

5. “Lose/Loose.” I always smirk a bit whenever people write “We’re gonna loose our minds!” Like, does it imply that your brain is unraveling from its position? Or are you using the idiomatic expression to mean “Let’s get crazy!” I really hope that you’re referring to the second option; I would hate to see your brain actually unraveling… “Loose” means “not tight,” like “a loose shoelace.” “Lose” means to be deprived of something (i.e. “I lose my keys all of the time”). Of course, the expression “lose our minds” works a bit differently, but still captures the essence of the word’s definition.

6. “Lets/Let’s.” Not going to make a big deal about this (considering that I’ve been repeating it over three times now for the others): “lets” is the third-person verb, meaning “to allow:” “She lets me use her kitchen every day.” “Let’s” is the contraction for “let us:” “Let’s hang out!”

 7. “Lie/lie/lie.” I admit, these can be fairly tricky. Some of my classmates had issues distinguishing the trio in my poetry class last school term. There are two verb meanings for “lie:” 1) to recline back, or “lay” (i.e. “I lie in my chair”), and 2) to tell an untruth (i.e. “I lie to her about my job”). It can also be a noun, directly related to the second verb definition: “I told a lie to her.”

Got Grammar?

– The Finicky Cynic

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7 thoughts on “Get Your Grammar Right!!!

  1. Ciara

    There is a song my sister loves to sing with the chorus “I don’t want nobody but you” and it irks me so much because it’s so catchy but so grammatically incorrect!

  2. I don’t mind other people’s mistakes. Many people in here just wish to practice their English seeing as it is not their first language. And what comes to double negation: it is part of some dialects including AAVE. Language, although ungrammatical, is still part of identity and in my opinion one should be allowed to use whatever language they prefer in their blogs.

    1. I agree with what you wrote. However, I was referring in my post to the written language of English, not the spoken one. Not using the so-called “standard English” in speech is perfectly acceptable, as you said, but for those whose first language is English, it looks bad if one makes orthographic errors on paper. That was the point that I was trying to make in my post.

      1. I understood that but I don’t see why one should limit writing to standard English. Of course you will be able to convey the message to a larger audience but perhaps the text isn’t intended for everyone. Does it really make someone’s point less worthy if it’s not grammatically perfect in form? Isn’t more important for WordPress to be as diverse as it is?

      2. Very true. I do believe that the content and the author’s style of conveying that content is more important than being grammatically correct 100% of the time. But when it starts affecting one’s understanding of the content, then it becomes problematic.

        By the way, thank you for challenging me with your comments. They have made me think more about what I have written, as well as the arguments against my own. Greatly appreciated!

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