(And Really Irritate Me)
I originally posted this back in November, but felt it merits re-posting. The following are my grammatical nightmares. Please pay close attention to #2, as this is the most irritating mistake of all, lately. Misusing the word, "myself," has become a wide-spread problem lately. RARELY should you use this word!!!!
I am not an English professor, nor do I claim to have perfect grammar, but I do have a firm grasp on remedial English. Some people blow off their bad grammar as if it is not important, but how you write and speak are representative of the kind of person you are and the kind of person you would like to project to the rest of the world. It is not necessary to become an eloquent poet, but it is necessary to pay attention to basic grammar
I never correct strangers' grammar, as that would be rude. I do, however, correct friends if they make the same mistakes over and over again (we are all guilty of typos). Just as I would tell you that you have something hanging from your nose to save you from embarrassing yourself, I would also correct your basic grammar mistakes to save you from that same embarrassment. For those of you who flunked third grade English, I have compiled a list of what I find to be the top ten mistakes:
1.) Your vs You're
If you google "Common Grammar Mistakes," you will find that this mistake most often tops the list. It's probably the easiest mistake to avoid, yet the most common.
Your is the possessive form of you, meaning that it belongs to the person you are referring to.
- Is this your book?
You're is a contraction. It is the contraction of the words' you' and 'are'.
- You're my best friend. (YOU ARE my best friend).
2.) Me, Myself and I
This has become my number one pet peeve. I hear misuse of this all too often from friends, politicians, television personalities, etc. I often hear, "She needs to talk to Joe and I." Or, "It's just going to be Greg and myself going to the store." This is not correct. STOP WITH THE MISUSE OF MYSELF ALREADY!!!!!!!
I is the subject pronoun. It is who is doing the action. (Remember: I do the verb).
- I am going to the store.
- Chris and I are going to the store.
In both instances, the subject(s) are doing the verb.
Me is the object pronoun. It is who the action is being done to. (Remember: The verb does me).
- When you're finished with that report, give a copy to Sheila and me. (Take out the name Sheila. You'd never say, "...give a copy to I.")
- He told Bob and me to wait by the car. (Take out Bob...you would not say, He told I to wait by the car.
Myself is a reflexive pronoun (like yourself, himself, herself, itself) and is always the object of the sentence (and can also be used as the object AND subject, but never the subject alone). It can also be used for emphasis (Remember, you cannot use the word myself, without having the word I in the sentence).*
- I cooked dinner myself.
- I saw myself in the mirror.
- I, myself think that the presentation was great. (emphasis)
- Please call James or myself with questions. WRONG. (Take out James. You would never say, Please call myself with questions.)
- John, Ali and myself are going to the movies. WRONG. (Again, take out John and Ali.)
- Never use the word myself in a photo caption, either.
* This also applies to yourself.
3.) Could Of vs Could Have or Could've
Could of is never correct. Though it sounds similar to the correct contraction of could've, it is not the same. Could have and could've are correct. This also goes for Should've and Would've.
4.) a lot and allot vs alot
allot means to distribute.
- The professor alloted me 45 minutes to take the exam.
a lot describes a large quantity of something.
- There were a lot of people at the concert.
alot is not a word and should never be used. You would never say 'alittle,' so do not say alot.
*Think of the word a lot in terms of a "lot" just as you would use the term, a ton. Both a "lot" and a "ton" are large quantities. I miss you a ton. You'd never say, I miss you aton.
5.) To vs Too
I am going to assume the majority of you know that two is a number and therefore not necessary to explain. Both to and too have two meanings :).
To is a preposition and as well as the first part of an infinitive verb:
- I'm going to the store. (preposition)
- I need to buy some eggs. (infinitive verb)
Too means excessive as well as also:
- I'm too tired to go out tonight. (very)
- I'm hungry, too. (also)
6.) Anyway and Any Way vs Anyways
Anyways is NEVER correct. Quit saying it. You sound like you failed first grade.
- Anyways, how are you?
Anyway means in any case or regardless.
- I know it's cold outside, but I'm going swimming anyway.
Any way means in any fashion or any manner.
- I don't know any way to fix it.
7.) Used to vs Use to
Use to is never correct. Again, quit saying/writing it.
- I use to believe in Santa Clause.
Used to means to be familiar with or to explain past facts which are no longer true). Either way, both explain something that happened in the past, so remember to add the 'd'.
- I am used to waking up for work at 7 a.m. (familiar with)
- I used to live in Ukraine. (past fact)
8.) Loose vs Lose
Loose is an adjective and it is the opposite of tight or without constraint.
- My belt is loose. (not tight)
- I forgot to close the door and my dog ran loose. (without constraint)
Lose means to misplace or to fail.
- I don't want to lose the spelling bee tomorrow. (to fail)
- I lose my keys all the time. (to misplace)
9.) Granted vs Granite
Granite is an igneous rock.
- I want hard wood floors and granite counter tops.
- I don't take anything for granite. WRONG
Granted means awarded and to take for granted means to fail to appreciate the value of something.
- The Hawking Foundation granted me $500 towards my college fund. (awarded)
- I take for granted that I have clean, running water. (fail to appreciate)
10.) Worse vs Worst
Worse is comparative (you're comparing more than one thing).
- Rap music is worse than country.
Worst is superlative (nothing is worse).
- Death Metal music is the worst.
*Think of the words grosser and grossest. Mushrooms are grosser than tomatoes, but anchovies are the grossest.
****Also, PLEASE LEARN HOW TO SPELL THE WORD WEIRD. IT IS NOT WIERD.
****LOL is over. Stop writing it. And are you really laughing out loud? I didn't think so.
Maybe we all just need to revisit Schoolhouse Rock:
There are many, many more to mention, but I'll stick with the very basics for now. What are some ofyour grammatical nightmares?