Design

Good Grammar is Sexy

This tote made me laugh. Don’t you agree?!

Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years:
* Farther vs. further. Farther = physical distance. Further = abstract lengths. (“We need to drive farther down the road.” “Let’s discuss this further tonight.”)
* Everyday vs. every day. “I go to the park every day.” “These shoes are great for everyday wear.”
* Literally. Most things aren’t actually literally true. “I was literally dying with laughter.” Probably not.

What are your grammar pet peeves? Tell us below! Let’s get sexy.

P.S. Quotation marks.
P.P.S. If you want to nerd out, here are 20 common grammar mistakes.

(Via BBlinks)

  1. Haha. I love this post! As a copywriter, it always irks me whenever a co-worker says “he/she is been” or when somebody uses an apostrophe to make something plural.

    I also wrote about why grammar matters, especially for blogs here: http://ionlikealion.com/bad-grammar-hurt-blog/

  2. Grammar Police says...

    I agree that all of the above are egregious errors, and they have all peeved me at one time or another. The one big error that I have not seen here is the use of “myself” when one means “me.” This is becoming more and more common, and I’d love to see it stopped. I have on occasion completely lost track of a sermon while counting the occurrences of such statements as “you have been kind to my wife and myself” or “if you have questions, call Fred or myself.” This error just makes my skin crawl.

  3. Shelley Rose says...

    It is unbelievable how commonly used the “Her and I / Him and I” phrase has become.
    Most of us try to use proper grammar, yet commonly make blunders by saying “for him and I,” “with Tom, Bret and I” and so forth. Such glaring errors are common in professionally written text for television commercials, teleprompter speeches spoken by newscasters and politicians and well-rehearsed lines said by Academy Award-winning movie stars.
    How to avoid silly pronoun mistakes?
    Before speaking aloud, test your new sentence silently to yourself: “Gary gave Barbara, Luke and I a new DVD.”
    Cut out all names and other nouns, leaving only pronouns: (“He gave it to I.”). How does it sound? –Wrong!
    Remember: It makes no difference how much you load a sentence down with laundry lists of other people or “stuff.” The rightness of I or me –or any pronoun– is absolute and doesn’t change because of the number of people mentioned.
    Another common blunder: “Her and I” or “She and I” – which is correct?
    Answer 1: Here’s a trick: take out “and I”. Say the sentence both ways, using she and her. Use whichever makes sense. Then put the “and I” back in. For example, in the sentence “She and I went to the mall”, if you take out “and I”, it would be “She went to the mall”. If the sentence said “Her and I went to the mall”, even though it might sound correct to some, if you take out “and I”, it would be “Her went to the mall”, and that definitely makes no sense.
    But try this example. “Mary went to the mall with her and I”, or “Mary went to the mall with she and I”. Both seem to make sense, but take the “and I” out of both examples and you should find that “Mary went to the mall with her” is the one that makes sense, not “Mary went to the mall with she”. Try it for yourself. Class dismissed.

  4. I have a few but I’ll only mention two. The first is when people say a whole nother level. What is nother? It’s not a word. There’s a red line under it when I type it. Another one is 12pm or am. There is no such thing. Midnight or noon.

  5. I agree with most comments here, but spelling is not the end of it. I am offended by the rudeness of the following:
    Whatever!
    Get a life
    Live with it
    Get used to it.

    After all, these phases are not so much language as parrots copying parrots.

  6. To comment on what Lori mentioned,I’ve seen and noticed the term mouth breathers being used as an insult,like a gathering of mindless types not thinking or contributing much.(just simply taking up space somewhere)

    I also see the other part that you mention,as a sign that whoever used those terms in that way simply did not care to show much focus or use any creativity.

    This might also show bits of my own bias at times,but some people seem bent on making the sloppy and casual so o.k and normalized because thinking just takes too much work!

  7. I used to work with people that would say “on tomorrow,” is in:

    “I will send you that email on tomorrow.”

    I never understood it and it drove me crazy! You will send it “on wednesday” or “tomorrow.” Never on tomorrow.

  8. respective/perspective/prospective :)

  9. Since english is not my first or second language, I still make a quick translation when I read and write. Misuse of your/you’re, too/to, than/then, loose/lose, well/good, this/these, their/there/they’re, lay/lie, its/it’s, me/I, speak/talk, see/watch, bring/take, he’s/his, apostrophe/plural and the non-use of adverbs will always be funny to me. :) When people use “conversate” or “irregardless” they make me uncomfortable. Also, I’ll never get used to hearing “you all” it sounds just like “yous” to me. Until a plural of “you” is introduced I can work with “all of you” a bit better than “you all”. :)

  10. Irregardless = NOT a word! Come on, people…

  11. This is fun…. because you learn things :)
    My pet peeve is the use of you’re (the abbreviation for you are) vs. your (when something is yours)….

    so simple yet so many people still interchange the two.

    Wow I feel nervous commenting on a grammar post. Are you judging me?

  12. These are all really good examples! I feel like I just had a grammar class! Thank you everyone!

  13. It’s so great to know that so many others care about the use of correct grammar. A couple of my pet peeves are not knowing the difference between an adjective & an adverb-drives me crazy!
    Also, I had wonderful English teachers in high school and I was taught that when we speak or write we are expressing our opinion so it is unneccessary and redundant to say so as in “I think…” I’ve had people say “but that’s just your opinion”-duh!

  14. Fewer vs. less.

    Even television commercials get it wrong.

  15. The work I do requires us communicating with a lot of busy managers by e-mail. One of the common errors they make is using the word confess for confuse. They also use the word defiantly instead of definitely. My mother passed away in May but we worked together and we often said we were “defiantly confessed” about things. No one understood but it was a funny inside joke between us.

    We also have a mechanic in our town and his sign says, “My Mechanic’s”. It’s like an unfinished sentence.

  16. This must be a generational difference but I’ve noticed more and more people saying:

    “I’m so excited FOR our trip to Cape Cod”.

    This drives me insane…I have to literally press my lips together in order not to scream “ABOUT; ABOUT. You are excited ABOUT your trip to Cape Cod”. !!!!!!!

  17. all ready vs already

  18. Judgement vs judgment – big difference in the UK!

    Using text speak in emails – very annoying.

  19. -P says...

    Oh! Love this post and the comments too… I always am the bad guy when I correct my sisters and my friends for their grammar/spellings and unfortunately I can’t keep my mouth shut :).So much so that when my sisters realise they’ve made a slip; they look at me and wait for me to correct them!

  20. I’m so glad Aya (like 150 comments ago) mentioned conversate. I once dated a boy who did not believe me when I told him that the verb form of conversation was converse. He tried to sound sophisticated by substituting conversating for talking, but he sounded ridiculous. “I was conversating with my mom last night.” Uuuggg. That was a red flag right there. I should have known the relationship would not last.

  21. I’m laughing whilst reading the comments. SO great!

    DEFINITELY <– correct spelling

    definatly <– SUCH a pet peeve.

  22. past history….so redundant!

  23. I don’t believe that everyday/every day was much of a problem before marketeers took on ‘everyday’ as such a catch-phrase. Now you see it misused everywhere! Another one for me is less/fewer – this one definitely drives me nuts. And I heard a woman say to her kid the other day “Ready, STETTY, go!” – what on earth?!

    • Farceuse says...

      The saying is “Ready, STEADY, go.” It’s just an expression.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. my pet peeve is when people use air quotes with their fingers! bugs.

  26. when you call someone on the phone and to speak with _____. they say, “this is her.” instead of “this is she.”

  27. My mom always busts me on the lay down/lie down thing…so when she is around I usually just say I want to get “horizontal”.

  28. I’m an English professor, and I can’t stand homonym errors such as “it’s” instead of “its” or “to” and “too” mix-ups. Adults should know better!

  29. Ooh, I could spend all day reading this :)

    Quite vs. quiet and breathe vs. breath. Seems that many people do not know the difference.

    And wah lah (or whatever awful way people choose to spell it) pretty sure there is no connection that it’s French and spelled voila.

  30. One I’ve noticed since moving to Baltimore is people will say things like, “this needs painted” instead of “this needs TO BE painted.” It’s so weird and bothers me so much, but I hear it pretty frequently. Am I crazy for thinking this isn’t correct?

  31. As a copy editor and writer, it’s my misfortune to notice all the mistakes (what my copy chief at Oxford University Press would call infelicities of style and grammar). The ones that just kill a sentence for me are misuses of bring and that, envy and jealousy, proximity, and impact. Oh, and dangling modifying clauses and misused apostrophes.

  32. Lose versus loose. I’ve been seeing this more and more.

    When you lose weight, your clothes are loose. You are not loosing weight. Drives me insane.

  33. Oh, another one I thought of! I learned while writing for my University’s newspaper that “over” is a physical placement, “more than” is for abstract topics like numbers. People usually say “There were over 300 people there!” But it should be “There were more than…” etc.

    At first I thought it was stupid and nit-picky, now it drives me nuts!

    • Farceuse says...

      I agree, and I change “over” to “more than” all the time in the legal stuff I proofread. However, I would say, for example, “…over 18 years old,” not “…more than 18 years old.” Am I wrong?

  34. I’m a high school English teacher. I have so many grammar pet peeves. Literally thousands ;)

    then vs. than
    your vs. you’re
    its vs. it’s

    Let’s just go with all of the homophones, shall we?

  35. Yes! It totally is.
    And spelling.

    It’s just not as romantic being called an “Angle”. (true story.)
    Eat Cake

    • I once received a message on my online dating profile that said, “Thank God that I found you, you must be my garden angle” This is a true story… I am some very lucky guy’s Garden Angle!!!! Yay me! *sarcasm

  36. by two BIGGEST pet peeves on this subject:
    your vs. You’re (you are!!!) Why don’t people KNOW this?

    AND, even worse.

    Its vs. It’s (It is)
    My freshman year of college in an intro to English Lit class the professor wrote this on the board bc so many people had confused the two on our first assignment.

    Oh and also…it’s “for all intents and purposes” NOT “for all intensive purposes”. What on earth is an “intensive purpose”?

  37. H says...

    I live in Oklahoma so I hear a lot of, “I seen” instead of “I saw.” “Literally” makes me cringe. ;) You know one I have difficulty with? Affect & effect.

  38. Mod41, I once heard a great quote:

    “Never utilize something you can use.”

  39. “All the sudden.”

    Nope.

  40. I agree with Denise on “unique”. Also, “random” is almost always used incorrectly. And “hopefully” means “filled with hope”, not “I hope that…” (e.g., I hope that he will be on time, not hopefully he’ll be on time.) Drives me CRAZY.

    Oh, and I seriously hate when people use “utilize” instead of “use.”

  41. ,,,when being asked, “how are you?” it’s my grammar opinion that one should respond, “i’m well thank you” i cringe when people say, “good” this is my grammar pet-peeve,,,

  42. RB says...

    I have heard this pet peeve is for true grammar purists, but I sometimes bristle when I hear people use “since” instead of “because.”

    “Since” refers to time, as in “I have had a bad cold since last Thursday.” “Because,” on the other hand, refers to causation: “I cough all day long because I have a bad cold.”

    Or: “Since I learned the difference between ‘since’ and ‘because,’ I try to use the words correctly because I want people to think I have good grammar.” Yes?

  43. Yikes.. I thought I had grammar/spelling issues.. but after reading the comments turns out my offenses are minor by comparison..

  44. I have the HARDEST time with where to punctuate with parentheses (inside, outside, sometimes on outside, sometimes on inside when it’s a complete sentence?)?It’s embarassing!

  45. I have the HARDEST time with where to punctuate with parentheses (inside, outside, sometimes on outside, sometimes on inside when it’s a complete sentence?)?It’s embarassing!

  46. I love this post!

    “her/him and I” vs “she/he and I”

  47. There are so many. It really bothers me when people use out-of-use words (to sound more educated? I’m not sure), but use them incorrectly.

    “Wherefore art my keys?”
    Wherefore means “why,” not “where.”

    “Whence on the bus, I ate my breakfast.”
    Whence means “from where,” not “when” or “once.”

    In other news, “supposably” is a word, it just has a slightly different meaning than “supposedly.”

  48. My biggest grammar pet peeve is when people mix up “lose” and “loose”!

  49. My peeves: people who say “convo” (conversation), “vaykay” (vacation), “ridic” (ridiculous)…there are more examples but I’ve forgotten them! All of them courtesy of “Keeping up with the Kardashians”

  50. I love this post!!