Today, I feel like complaining about writing mistakes that make people look uneducated and ridiculous. Nitpicking grammar errors is probably one of my favorite hobbies, so it’s unnecessary to point out that I’m pointing out tiny errors. Regardless of how small they are, when you make these errors, my brain cries. Bulleted list? I think so!
- First, the error that irritates me more than anything else on this earth: confusing ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. I’m not sure why people have so much trouble distinguishing the two, but they do. The difference between them is simple: ‘your’ is possessive, meaning that it shows ownership. Anything that you or anyone else owns falls into the “your” category (e.g., your car; your shoes; your hair; your face; your lack of intelligence). ‘You’re’ is short for ‘you are’. I mean…it’s not really much shorter. But that’s what it stands for. Think of the apostrophe as a placeholder for the ‘a’ in are, if you will. You use this word whenever you’re (oh man, look at that – I used it correctly) talking about the way someone is (e.g., you’re smelly; you’re in school; you’re going shopping; you’re talking on the phone). Not that hard to tell between the two. It always makes me laugh when I see someone write “your dumb”. It makes me concerned for my dumb – whatever that is – and I want to know what it’s causing trouble for.
- It drives me absolutely insane when I see someone write that they “could of” gone somewhere or they “should of” done something. First off, that doesn’t even make sense. Could HAVE gone somewhere; should HAVE done something. That’s really all I’m going to say about it. Use your brain.
- I have a substantial amount of trouble understanding what someone means when they says “he/she is good people” when referring to only one person. That’s not really even a grammatical mistake, is it? It’s just stupidity.
- One serious error I see made all the time that makes you look almost as dumb as confusing your/you’re does is confusing its/it’s. Believe it or not, they are two different words with two very different meanings. As usual, the one without the apostrophe is a possessive pronoun and is used in the same context as “your”, except it refers to objects (or other non-human things) rather than people. So, say you have a cat. You could say things like “My cat hurt its paw.” or “My cat is eating its food.” Easy, peasy. “It’s”, on the other hand, is a contraction for “it is”, and should only be used in contexts where you would use the phrase “it is”. Here’s a plethora of examples: it’s cold outside; it’s not that hard to distinguish between the two; it’s sad how dumb some people are; it’s time to move on to the next topic.
- Last one, and this one is my favorite: did you know there are actually correct contexts to use “you and me” instead of “you and I”? It’s true, there are. And I’ll tell you how to figure out which one is right! Let’s take the sentences “You and ___ went to the store.” and “Out of everyone in class, the professor prefers you and ___.” Either ‘me’ or ‘I will fit into each of the blanks. The way to figure out which one to use is simple: just drop the ‘you’ and insert whichever form makes sense. In the first sentence “Me went to the store” makes no sense, but “I went to the store” does – so you would put ‘I’ for a final sentence of “You and I went to the store.” Same thing for the other sentence. “Out of everyone in class, the professor prefers I” would make you sound like a pretentious, grammatically-inept idiot; however, “Out of everyone in class, the professor prefers me” makes perfect sense. So the sentence would be, “Out of everyone in class, the professor prefers you and me.” It’s easier than parallel parking!
That concludes today’s grammar lesson. I’m sure I’ll think of more to add. When I do, you’ll know. 🙂