The Most Annoying Grammatical Errors

A recent AskReddit thread had the question: “Which grammatical error annoys you the most?” It garnered two thousand comments in two days, so that’s a lot of annoyance. The top answers were pretty common, and might even be spreading due to so many people reading internet communications instead of professionally-edited publications.

“Should of” instead of “should have.” They sound the same when spoken, so that’s likely why young writers don’t know the difference.

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“Loose” when one means “lose.”

Apostrophe misuse. An apostrophe with an “s” at the end of a word indicate a possessive, not a plural. Or it can indicate a missing letter in a contraction like “she’s,” meaning “she is.” These uses overlap in the word “its/it’s,” so English scholars created an exception as a workaround. With no apostrophe, the word is a possessive, and with an apostrophe the word is a contraction. It was difficult to write that sentence without a certain pronoun.

“Alot” instead of “a lot.” Allie Brosch made this into a delightful creature that we can think of instead of the state of English education.

“Then” and “than.” These are both used when the other is indicated. It could be a typo, or maybe some people don’t realize they are two different words.

“I could care less.” This is mostly said when someone could not care less.

There are a lot more in the reddit thread. Some are spelling mistakes you can blame on autocorrect, like “to/two/too” or “there/their/they’re,” but no one would believe you. Autocorrect is often wrong on the “its” and “it’s.”   

Personally, I’ve spent way too many years writing for the ‘net to let grammatical errors bother me anymore. It can happen to anyone, especially if you edit something that you have already written. If I change a word from past to present tense, or from singular to plural, there’s a good chance that some other necessary word change gets overlooked. I’ve also found that many errors come from people who are learning English as a second or third language, and that’s a commendable effort. If I notice a grammatical error at Neatorama, I’ll correct it, but I no longer cringe at other people’s language mistakes. However, when those errors end up in permanent signs, news or business websites, or expensive advertising, I will roll my eyes a little.  -via Digg

Source: neatorama

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