Monday, 29 April 2013

Grammatical Errors that Make Me Twitch

If you follow me on Facebook, you'll know that I am a COMPLETE stickler for proper grammar.

I simply despise the misuse of the English language, and often (subconsciously?) lose respect for those who use the language poorly.

Facebook is a great example of a venue where our traditional grammar rules are used less and less efficiently.

Today alone, I've seen the following: (text altered to protect the guilty parties)

1. Commas used as ellipsis - "My husband came home,,,finally!"

2. The word "awe" instead of "aw" as a reaction to something - "Awe! So cute!"

3. Unnecessary extensions of words that end up weakening their meaning - "Awwweeeeee! So cute!"
(who says "ah - wee"?)

4. The famous misuses of "your" and "you're" - "Your right! I DO love this game!" (Is that my right or your right?)

4b - "Hey Kevin! I have you're French textbook! Call me!" (Poor Kevin never knew that he was a French textbook.)

5. The improper use of apostrophes (remember, apostrophes ONLY show ownership or a contraction) - "I saw Shannons Facebook status" (how many Shannons are there in this sentence?)

5b - "I scored three goal's last night!" (Apparently the last night belongs to those lucky goals!)

I truly LOVE the English language. In fact, I earned an English degree in University.

I'm an avid reader and constant corrector of grammar. I DO judge people on their incorrect use of grammar - I just can't help it! Is that really so bad?

Do you have any grammatical pet peeves? Any opinions on this post? Please comment below!


  1. This brought a smile to my face this morning! I'm afraid I DO tend to judge people based on their grammar and I've always felt like a curmudgeonly English teacher because of it. It seems as if proper grammar is going the way of the dinosaur in the age of social media. My personal pet peeve to add? Putting. Periods. After. Every. Word. For. Dramatic. Effect. Oh, and then that just reminded me of the whole affect/effect confusion. I could go on, but I won't!

    Have a great day!


  2. I have many grammatical pet peeves. I also know that I am not perfect. I will share a few. The use of ellipses to indicate pauses. They mean there is an omission. Using the word "over" to explain that there is "more than" a certain number which also goes along with how people use fewer and less. Pronouns that do not agree with the nouns to which they refer. Great post! karenmusgrave @

  3. One of my "favourites" is in funeral announcements when I'm told that deceased person formally resided somewhere. I quickly imagine he and wife in tuxedo and evening gown doing their gardening.
    Pam Parker

  4. Years of working in newspapers and commercial printing means that spelling and grammatical errors seem to jump off the page at me, so (as you can imagine) the things written on blogs, websites and public media could drive me crazy if I let them. I blame spellcheckers. If it isn't underlined, it must be right! I can think of several I see all the time which used to make me twitchy: then/than swaps, affect/effect and perhaps the most frequent one I see: sneak peak. There's even a blog called "Stealth Mountain" which only posts responses to people being corrected for misuse of sneak peak. But having said all that ... I myself am guilty of things that drive other people crazy (like my use of ellipses to indicate a pause, for example). I got over my twitchiness by realizing that the English language has always been and will always be in a state of flux, words are constantly being added, deleted and altered by the passage of time and changes in technology and society. I decided to let it go and enjoy the ride instead ... although I do try to spell things correctly if possible. :)

  5. I'm the same way so I have to point out that you should have used ellipses if you're using commas, since that is the plural form. lol.

    At my old place of employment, most of the staff were...morons. I was constantly fixing grammatical errors and teaching them how to spell simple words.

    Also, I'm a new follower, because of this post. Love to see someone who hates the same things I do.


  6. I do not judge because I know I am not perfect. I use many ellipses and many explanation marks in my emails and on my blog. Since I can't show enthusiasm in person I try to do it with punctuation. I received A's in English as a student in high school in the 1950's. Time has passed and I have not had someone teaching me or checking my work since then. I thought that a word with an apostrophe and then an "s" meant a contraction and that the apostrophe after the "s" meant possession. However, Spellchecker always changes that in my messages, so I am not sure. Normally I would have put three question marks after that statement and an explanation mark after this one. And should there have been a comma after "normally"?

  7. Hi Shannon, I am a stickler for correct grammar, and spelling, as well. I'm pleased to see Gloria, in the comment above, used the word "passed" correctly. I go to school online and have seen that usage spelled "past". I am especially disheartened by this as I am in a Masters program. I signed up to attend the Chuckanut Writer's Conference and found a misspelling on their website and two errors on Red Wheelbarrow Writers' website. I'm the facilitator of the Village Books Non-fiction Writers group and give a lot of feedback on grammar and punctuation. Can't help it.


Thanks for commenting! Make sure to leave your email address so that I can write back to you :)