Thursday, November 1, 2012

One Question


Here's a question for this first Thursday in November... 

I know it's nearly the weekend, so I won't make you think too hard. :)

What is your grammar pet peeve? 

I have a few. The biggest offender? When I see an apostrophe s used to make a word plural. Just makes me want to take white out and slather it all over the offending spots.

Ahem. Okay, not really. But it does remind me to take care with plurals, possessives, and the like.


One more thing...

Keeping a close eye on news about the destruction from Hurricane Sandy. This hits home as I lived in southern New Jersey for nearly 40 years before moving to Kentucky. I'm glad to say that our family and friends in NJ fared well. For those of you affected by the storm, please know that we are thinking of and praying for you.

So tell us, what writerly misstep makes you want to send out the grammar police?

Happy weekend,
Karen 


 
Image credit: Stock Exchange

31 comments :

  1. Oh my... I have many. Considering that English is not my mother tongue ;)
    Then and than is probably my biggest mistake. I am learning.
    Thanks Karen.

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  2. Ditto on misuse of apostrophe to show plural noun! It IS my pet peeve as far as grammar goes. I've just started reading a book called 'Eats, Shoots & Leaves' by Lynne Truss which takes a humorous look at punctuation.

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  3. My HUGEST pet peeve is when people say "could care less" when in actual fact, the correct expression is "couldn't care less" :-) And my gosh, it's SO common!

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  4. Marja,
    I think you do a wonderful job. I'd not have known it wasn't! We are all still learning, I'm thinking. :)

    Vilisi,
    I know, I see it on signs and ads in the paper all the time. I've heard of that book, may have to check it out, thanks!

    Jessica,
    Oh that's another one, you're right! Funny how this stuff gets started, you know?

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  5. Oh my! I totally have doubts about comma and apostrophe usage...I feel like I need to go back to school! I really need one simple resource or manual to refer to for all of my mess ups. I had to train myself to stop putting exclamation points on every statement when I first started blogging! lol.

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  6. Not necessarily my biggest pet peeve, but seeing your and you're mixed up bugs me.

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  7. When someone says "very unique" it drives me nuts. The word needs no qualifier as it means one and only, without peer, nothing else like it. Using "very" suggests otherwise. I have more but this is at the top of my list. Thank you for asking. =0)

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  8. Dawn,
    Don't feel bad, I often check The Elements of Style and other resources just to be sure. We're all learning, you know? :)

    Alex,
    Yeah, that one gets me too. Keep it under your hat, but once in a great while when typing fast, I make that mistake! :)

    Susan,
    I know it! Things like "past history" and "thought to myself" get to me too. Who else can you think to but yourself? lol

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  9. For me it's all context. I can forgive a lot of mistakes but the thing that gets me in when someone is trying to be rude or mean or holier than thou to someone else (usually on the web but sometimes on signs) and there grammar shows them 2b totaly ignerant. ;)

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  10. My pet peeve is in the word usage category: to, too, and two. And my confession? I struggle with comma usage. Yup. I'm comma-happy!

    Praying for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

    Have a blessed weekend! :)

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  11. I'm guilty of this...I found it in my first manuscript:

    He would "of" bla bla bla -instead of - He would have bla bla bla.

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  12. I'm also annoyed by misused apostrophes. I increasingly see confusion especially with the possessive form of it--its--that has no apostrophe.

    I also really don't like it when people say "try and" do something rather than "try to" do it. It's one action, not two. I try TO hold my tongue, because it's such a fine distinction, most people never think about it.

    Prayers appreciated here in Philly. We're on day three of no electricity and have become refugees with the in-laws. I really want to be home again!

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  13. Hmm, That's a tough question! I'm nitpicky on grammar, but I wouldn't say anything is a particular pet peeve. I do a lot of thumping of the forehead when I discover I mixed up there/their/they're. Even for a grammar policewoman like me, I still manage to type the wrong one in a hurry. :)

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  14. One thing I'm bad for is using THAT instead of WHO. Brain-fog, I guess.

    Oh, and the one that bugs me is the no comma when addressing someone. But I think we talked about this before:

    Has anyone seen my pet husband?
    Has anyone seen my pet, husband?

    I think John therefore I am.
    I think, John, therefore I am.

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  15. Ack! I have lots of them. But my fav pet peeve is: It's (it is) and its. I get so danged grumpy when I see this. ESPECIALLY WRITERS WHO MAKE THIS MISTAKE. Also, when folks write what but they are really talking about people, so it would be who. I could go on and on.

    Praying for all the Sandy victims. *sigh* W live in a fallen world. Hugs and loves, pal.

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  16. That's we live in a fallen world. Not W. *ahem*

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  17. Annie,
    Well, this is true! Perhaps these things are allowed so we can build character and patience? lol

    Maria,
    Yes, those homonyms can be a bear! As for commas, they trip me up too. I often pull out my Elements of Style to double check, :)

    Loree,
    You know, that's something I see my teen students do a lot, so I eventually added it to the lessons! Easy to do, especially when typing fast. Thankful for the editing stage! :)

    Laurel,
    So sorry about the power situation! Will be praying. I know a few writers who are in the smae boat. Will be praying!

    Sarah,
    I know, I feel like I am ever on the lookout with it for my students and the next thing you know it I spot it in my work! Editing - thankful for editing! :)

    Joylene,
    I think brain fog hits us all. As long as we or our crit partners catch it, right? Always liked the "Let's eat Grandma" or "Let's eat, Grandma" illustration too. :)

    Robyn,
    So you get grumpy too, huh? Ah well, just keeps us on our toes, right? :) Hugs to you!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  18. Same here!

    More irritating are the glib sentences, empty vessels sent across the universe, appearing to soothe and comfort. I'm talking about the feel-good stuff that does the opposite. I can stomach its intent, but not how it's being delivered.

    I can forgive "its" and "it's" changing places, but not when the result is still an ordinary picture in a gilded frame.

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  19. I feel my teeth start to grind when I see "your" and you're" misused.

    The credit union where Hubby banks built a new building a few years ago. On the plate glass to the left of the entrance was painted the following: This is a non-smoking premise. I cringed and wanted to say something. They finally changed it to something else.

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  20. They're, there, and their. Need I say more?

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  21. Mine doesn't come immediately to mind but my son can't abide 'text' speak or improper sentence structure if your phone has a full qwerty keyboard. That keeps me on my grammar toes.

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  22. Rosaria,
    Well this can be true too. Perhaps the delivery is due to a lack of know how. Although there will always be those who want a shortcut I suppose.

    Cecelia,
    Oh my, that is a big typo at the bank! I've seen things like that here and there. You have to wonder who gets to sign off on these things! :)

    Susan,
    I don't think so! You summed it up nicely. :)

    Sally,
    Usually it's the other way around - the parent reminding the child about these kinds of things! Well, you'll have lots of good practice!

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  23. I have many, so I better keep quiet. Have a good weekend, Karen.

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  24. I know it's politically correct to write his or her to avoid offending one's gender, but I also think that usage sounds clunky.

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  25. This is terrible, but I'm not sure I can give you just one. I've got this internal editor, see, that just starts hollering. Can't help it! :(

    Your example is a prime one, though. That and misspellings.

    BOP vibes coming your way. LOL.

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  26. Rachna,
    Me too, so perhaps your approach is best! lol :)

    Donna,
    I agree. This political correctness is often for the birds, I'm thinking. Of course you don't want to offend anyone, but you can go nuts trying not to! :)

    Rhonda,
    Don't I know it. That internal editor resides here as well, and she never goes to sleep! If only I had her stamina...:) BOP happiness right back at you!

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  27. I've been teaching a more formal writing class this year at our homeschool co-operative, and I have to say that right now, "it's" used instead of "its" is driving me nuts . . .even if I make the mistake too often myself.

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  28. Hi Karen .. I'm afraid I sometimes slip into using the apostrophe - well the typing fingers do: the brain doesn't .. but the typing fingers hit the publish before the brain kicks into gear and is nearly sick at the error just posted!!

    There and their too ... why I do not know ... because although I have no idea why - I'm pretty good at grammar and at spelling ...

    Strange but True - and it was Halloween recently! Cheers Hilary

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  29. Tyrean,
    I hear you. I make some of these mistakes myself when writing quickly and wonder what's gotten into me! :)

    Hilary,
    Like I told Tyrean, I sometimes make these errors, much to my dismay. I guess the important thing is that we're aware and catch them. Or mostly. :)

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  30. I'm only allowed to choose one? There are so many!

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  31. Lisa,
    I know it! But then, I make them too but usually catch them. lol Had to laugh, we were at Applebee's last night and a sign on the table had an apostrophe s for a plural...Almost took a picture with my phone!
    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!