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May 29, 2020


 When you're reading something -- an email, a comment, a Facebook post, a Tweet -- and you discover that the author doesn't know the difference between, for example, "it's" and "its," or "you're" and "your," does it affect your opinion of the author's message?


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I alway thought it's is just 'tis with a typo, 'tisn't it?

Your damn toot'n it is! Oh, I guess that should be "my damn toot'n".

It might depend on how they use "to", "too", and "two".

The one that drives me absolutely crazy is "loose" for "lose".

You are our opinion of the authors message, and I'm not just say'n that! Ha-ha, bloggers worrying about the opinions of others! Funny Dave, no, really funny Dave, really! "Tis classic "Mr. Blog", yourn't kidd'n, you'r just a funny guy.

It su're does.

Yes, if does. Another annoying grammatical error I see so often is when like a air head Facebook chick post her picture wearing a bikini on every entry for several weeks, then out of no where she puts on tactical gear and shows her prowess as a sniper or or potential Navy SEAL. What a total turn off. Another thing that annoys me is this.

Well and good. Drives me crazy when someone says " you did good". Everyone should know that a verb is always followed by a conjunction unless a pronoun is involved. In that case a subjective noun is required. If in doubt go online and ask " Mr. Language Man"

Know it doesn't.

I hate to get all lecturey here but I believe the correct usage is'you done good', so that, & IMHO all nouns are subjective, in which case, i.e. beer,etc..

Here's a good one I see daily reading online reviews of computer related items.

"It runs so quite you can hear a pin drop."

Why is it no one is concerned about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin anymore? Sorry, but this lockdown is making me nostalgic.

Yes it does. So their.

We couldn't tell how ignorant we were when we used to talk to each other. (Well, except for all these rednecks where I live who say "I seen" instead of "I saw.") Now that we're reading each others' comments, we're discovering that people are just damned dumb.

There have been many memes that I refused to repost, even though the thought was brilliant, because they had grammar errors. (Many of my Facebook friends would probably be happy if they knew.)

P.S. The pressure to be grammatically correct in a comment about bad grammar is tremendous. :-(

Here is an example of someone writing an online review of a computer fan stating how 'quite' and cool the fan runs/sounds after installation. Drives me crazy.

It definitely affects (not effects) my opinion of the author. Sometimes I think, this is not the writing of A Very Stable Genius.

I have noticed that local stores (many run by recent immigrants whose - not who's - grasp of English may be tenuous) tend to have signs with gratuitous apostrophes added almost randomly. I find that amusing rather than annoying.

Yes, it does.

Also irritating to me are people who think "in lieu of" means "because of." A department manager where I work did this all the time in memos -- "in lieu of the holiday, the courier run will be delayed."

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a quay and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
It's rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
It's letter perfect awl the weigh --
My chequer tolled me sew.

(attributed to numerous authors)

Since I figure most tweets, blog posts, etc., are 'stream of consciousness,' usage and spelling errors can be expected. However, have all newspaper copy editors been replaced by spell check? A lot of us have trouble with affect/effect, but the one that gets me is 'reign in' instead of 'rein in.' I never 'reigned in' my horse.

my personal grammar problem is really a punctuation issue...the exclamation point. I use them all the time! Help! Yet I know that sticklers hate that! what can I say, I grew up in LA...I can't stop...oh yes, I use ellipses too much as well...OMG!!!!!

Lissen up ya bunch of geekers. I wash born here, an wash raished here, an no sidewinden', bushwahackin', hornswagging', otto correcktin',cracker croaker is gonna ruhin me bichin cutter!

I read a comment about a movie the other day where the person commenting wrote, "It was so dull and it was a complete waist of my time".
I wanted to correct her but that would have been a waste of my time.

If it seems like just a typo, no. But, if it is evident that they don't know the difference, in my mind it does diminish the impact that the author was attempting to convey.

I am terribly embarrassed by typos I make especially those that could give someone the impression that I don't know the difference.

However, I readily admit that I never know when to correctly use lie, lay, layed, lain, lied, etc.

My favorite place in Arkansas is Toad Suck, yes it's a real place. Read about the history of Toad Suck. Nearby they have an annual Toad Suck Daze festival.

Yes, English can be weird. It can be understood through tough thorough thought, though.

If the author is someone I previously knew and cared about, I might forward one of your Ask Mr. Language Person column for some good-natured ribbing. Otherwise I've aged enough to get past my Language Prick days and just hit "delete".

(Not sure how I'd react to someone who posted to this blog with an inadvertent lack of the plural "columns")

Yes. I quite naturally assume the asylum doesn't realize they've escaped.

Difference between then vs than.
Old joke:
A realtor shows the house to a potential buyer
- this house has a spacious kitchen, one bathroom, one bedroom and den.
The buyer - and den what?

anudder old joke: How can you tell if you're in the men's room? ...Because that's how it smells.

Grammar and spelling mistakes affect my opinion of the author. I fully admit to this. Someone not knowing the difference between "their" and "there" is disheartening. I believe that social media is a major contributor to the recent deterioration in writing skills.

(I'll take my seat on the Geezer Bus now.)

cjfk: I agree. The men's room often reeks havoc on my census.

Also people using the word "literally" but they actually mean "metaphorically" which is exactly the opposite meaning.

Many years ago I stopped in a country store in Alabama for a six pack, or a pack of smokes, or something. (I speak Redneck when needed.)

A sign on the door said "WE EXCEPT FOOD STAMPS".

At the counter I tried to explain what was wrong with the sign, but I ended up just leaving, muttering to myself.

Myself finds it sad.


The message that such errors send to me is that the author is not attentive to details. Therefore, I do not trust their message.

My grammatical peeve is those folks who do not understand the difference between "insure" and "ensure."

Most assuredly, yes. It's so simple to learn and use the correct word, correctly. (Klezmerphan, please save a seat for me on the Geezer Bus)

Allow me to help: To/too/two insure regularity drink ensure and you'll be assured your #2 is #1 (or is it vice-versa, I'm never really sure which is which/witch).

It generally does. I especially dislike finding a meme with a great joke or message I’d like to share, but it contains an error I don’t want to be responsible for.

Every time I read the phrase "nothing to loose" I die a little inside.

As the driver of Kenny Roger's mobile home once sang: "You picked a fine time to leave me, loose wheel..."


I've seen here, in these comments, commas outside of quotation marks that should be inside of them. The same has happened with periods.

I've seen possessives that needed apostrophes.

I've seen the unfortunate "no where" instead of nowhere.

There are sentences that are not complete thoughts.

There are sentences that do not start with a capital letter.

There was the dreaded multiple exclamation points in one location.

And there are cases where commas were generally expected, but not used.

Carry on.

No Where Man Re Mastered.

Bayou Self? Should be: Ba You Sel f. Don't be down on your Self should you be on the Bayou.

...who knew the road to nowhere would lead us to now, here, for two nights only (tonight and another night), but maybe somewhere else, sometime some time later.

My favorite lesson in punctuation—
Correct: “Have some cookies and punch, Bill.”
Incorrect: “Have some cookies and punch Bill.”


And so many apostrophe mistakes...Free delivery on Tuesday’s!

Maybe it is time to hit the breaks (ugh!) Car guys do this all the time; confuse breaks with brakes.

Let us not forget that a panda eats, shoots and leaves.

I have to stop reading immediately. As a writer, it's damaging to my psyche. And it makes me kinda nauseous. And maybe a little incontinent.

*My* favorite lesson in punctuation --

Incorrect: "A woman without her man is nothing."
Correct: "A woman: Without her, man is nothing."

My pet peeve is the use of the word "unique". Most people use it as if it means "rare" or "unusual" or "different".

But it doesn't.

"very unique" - *shudder*

I still get confused when to use 'u-NEEK', or 'eunuch Q'.

Actual debate in journalism school between a lawyer and a copy editor: "criminal-court judge" or "criminal court judge?"

...also, isn't Uni Q the University of Queensland?

Its no big deal if its you're friend.

Never attribute to stupidity that which could be caused by autocorrect.

...on second thought is it University of/at/in/'n Queensland?

I think incorrect spelling, punctuation, and/or grammar irks me most when I read it in a book. It irritates me when I read something published on a major news site, too. I think of the writer who did not proof their own work, the editors and other checkers who do not read - they skim or just trust that spellcheck or grammar check suffice.
I once read a book that contained numerous extraneous commas. They were either placed improperly or just tossed in at random. I don't mean where one might take a breath or pause in thought: It seemed like the author had decided that purchasing commas in bulk was a terrific investment. Then he had to use his inventory, but he didn't read the manual, so took to just sprinkling a pallet of commas into his book and then giving it a good shake before publishing. I was circling them in pencil because it was a such chore to read.
I also wrote the author and told him how much it detracted from the actual content and I suggested that he consider getting a professional proofreader before publishing his next book. He wrote me back and thanked me.

It shouldn't, but it does.

Not everyone is a Rhodes Scholar (including me) but basic punctuation and form of the word is high school English stuff.

I've even seen TV ads from well-known law firms with errors, and THAT is a red flag. If you can't get the ad right, what is my case going to look like?

Schools just don't teach it, and teachers don't hold students to high standards. It's more important that little Johnny get his participation trophy than damage his fragile soul by correcting his grammar errors.

I even had to tell an English teacher that there are three words that sound alike, 'peak', 'peek', and 'pique' after she wrote that something had 'peaked' her interest.

Maybe the robots who take over will do better.

Absolutely. If they're careless about grammar and spelling and punctuation, what else are they careless about? Facts? Dates? Numbers? Get it together, youse guys!

Facts, dates & numbers are not part of the agenda. I've heard massive fiscal deficits explained away as "just a numbber".

One of my favourite phrases to throw out as bait to see who responds is irregardless.
It is a double negative that pushes some peoples buttons.
Not that I LIKE causing trouble or anything...

Use of the word "infinite" should be literally banned..

A waist is a terrible thing to waste

what I hate is reinventing words, e.g., "fail" instead of "failure," et al.
The latest is "an ask" instead of "a request."

The rules of grammar are something with which I will not put. Sir Winston Churchill, I believe.

Perhaps we should all just take a moment to reflect on the fact that the english we speak here in th USA is (unlike latin), mot a dead languge. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the english spoken by the British.


@John - I believe it was “Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.”

'language' also.

It has always driven me nuts when the lawyer comes on at the end of a commercial and says, "Not available in all states."

So I guess that means I can't get it then, because I live in a state.

Why don't they just say, "Not available in some states."?

'cuz sum states do got'em?

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