I did a Besides/Beside post and a Lose/Loose post, explaining the difference and urging those who must be urged, to rectify their erroneous ways. I also wrote about the incredibly silly “I could care less” phrase. But now I’m just going to point out what is incorrect. I will resist explanations as much as I possibly can and request those who identify with anything mentioned to please use the power of Google to correct yourselves; there are a lot of helpful people out there who have already shared the necessary wisdom with respect to these. Here we go!
- It isn’t alot. It’s two words “a” and “lot”: a lot! Not to be confused with allot.
- I just saw the use of abit. Abit? Really?! This is two words too: a bit!
- The word isn’t wreckless. There is no such word. If there were, it would mean: without a wreck. Look up the word “wreck” and you’ll understand how nonsensical this is. The word you’re looking for is reckless. Reckless! And that’s what you are if you add a “w” before it.
- Hear and here. Those who confuse these two have got to be kidding.
- Your and you’re: One’s a possessive pronoun and the other is simply a contraction of “you are”. There are plenty of articles on the internet on figuring out which one to use, so please look those up.
- Similar to the one just above this but more common than that is the confusion between the words its and it’s. Once again, a possessive adjective/possessive pronoun versus a contraction of “it is” or “it has”. Here’s a good, helpful article: It’s “its”! (If this link changes or doesn’t work and I fail to notice and replace it with a link to an equally helpful article, please let me know.)
- At this point, one must mention the gross misuse of apostrophes when writing plurals. “Books” becomes “book’s,” “cups” becomes “cup’s,” and “eyes” becomes “eye’s.” Utterly ridiculous.
- Their/There/They’re. Where do I begin? Here, I’ve found you a nice little lesson: Using “They’re,” “Their,” and “There” Correctly. I’m certain you will be able to find something similar to help you with the difference between…
- …whose and who’s. Kindly make the effort.
- For all intensive purposes. Honestly, using phrases you think sound great makes you look not so great when they’re incorrect. What you’re trying to say is: For all intents and purposes. Read up on it. Let the Internet be your friend.
- How do people even confuse except, a preposition, and accept, a verb, with two extremely different meanings?!
- This one makes me groan: affect and effect. If you put some effort into figuring out when you should employ each of these you’ll see that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to use them correctly. You just have to try. Please.
- Discreet! Many…many people write “discrete” instead. These homophones may be composed of the same letters, but they don’t share the same meaning! When told to be “discrete”, to those who’ve studied calculus, I say, “As opposed to continuous?”
- Could of, would of, should of. I don’t understand the people who speak like this. It makes no sense at all. Could of? It’s “have”…could have! And would have, and should have. Here’s an example: You could have seemed more intelligent but you chose to say (or write) “I would of.”
- Irregardless is a word I’ve heard being used even in professional settings. Usually used in place of “regardless” or “irrespective” this word has a double negative. That makes it incorrect. Do you see that? Don’t you see that?!
- Sight and site are often confused and very annoyingly so. I don’t know what to think of the people who use them interchangeably.
- I feel the annoyance a bit more strongly, if possible, when I see then and than misused. One uses than when making a comparison and then when referring to a point in time or within a sequence of events, but that again has to do with points in time.
- Last but not the least, for now, is the overuse of I when talking about oneself and another person. First of all, if you’re going to say you went dancing with someone, you’ll say, “So-&-So and I went dancing,” instead of “I and So-&-So…” Mention of your own self comes after the other person, or other people, as the case may be. So you’d say “Joe, Mary, Anita, Billy, Bob and I went to the movies.” Once you take care of that, you have to be careful about when you say I and when you say me. A good rule of thumb to follow is to see what you would say if you removed the other person’s name from the sentence.
“Email that memo to John and I” would be wrong because you wouldn’t say “Email that to I.” You’d say, “Email that to me,” right? So the correct way for you to say the original sentence is: “Email that memo to John and me.”
Saying “Andrea and me were watching that show” is incorrect because you wouldn’t say “Me was watching that show.” “I was watching that show” is what you’d say, making the original sentence “Andrea and I were watching that show.”
“You and me are going to dinner” should be “You and I are going to dinner” because you’d say “I’m going to dinner,” not “Me is going to dinner.”
This one has been at the top of my list of annoying mistakes people make in speech. Glad I addressed this.
Maybe there’ll be another post like this later. This is all that came to mind right now. Please feel free to add to this in the comments section. If there is another post, I’ll be sure to include good points made in the comments.
Oh, and in closing, may I just say…do read good literature! Although there are many who read a lot but don’t pick up these little things, it’s a good start and it may help if you have a willing mind.