“Alot” is Two Words, and Other Grievances

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.
    For example:
    “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.


Add Yours
  1. Anis

    As much as I agree with you, my fellow grammar nazi, I’ve given up my quest of educating the teeming masses. It’s a war we cannot win.
    All is not lost, however. They give me a valid reason to smack them in the face with my mighty baseball bat of grammar. It makes a most satisfying “thunkkk” sound on impact.

    • Karishma

      You’re right, they would win due to their sheer numbers. But I still have hope that there are able and eager and reasonable, although somewhat faulty, minds out there and for them we cannot give up. Do keep that bat handy, however. I’m sure you’ll need it more often than not.

    • Karishma

      Certainly do-able. But lesser mortals?! Not at all. What matters is that you acknowledge it and that can make all the difference. :) Thank you so very much for reading it!

  2. Parthajeet Sarmah

    Please to be sparing the rod, madem. We are a spoilt children’s alrady. But I is liking your face. Very nice, white face. I want to do frandship with you. Pliz assept me as freind. I am good smart yung man (or in my case, ‘sweet n nice girl’). I will good frandship with you.

    PS: At least Orkut is dead (or nearly so). Hallelujah! That’s one fount of bad grammar we won’t have to tolerate anymore!

    • Karishma

      Look at that! What a wonderfully nostalgic little message! Yes, that can take one back to the times one made faces at the computer upon stumbling across such gems. Remember Hi5 too? That and Orkut have safely got both feet in their respective graves. Now those two just need to be smacked over the head with the shovel that dug those graves.

  3. Sir Wallace Humperdink

    The one I get mixed with is “Who/whom” and “effect/affect” What annoys me are the “theres” like “I like there clothes” or “that food is they’res”

    • Karishma

      I didn’t address who/whom because it’s too common an error. A good way to decide which one to use is to see whether you’d say “he” or “him”. As an example, if you’d say, “I gave him the book,” the question would be “To whom did you give the book?” If I want to say, “She is who/whom I did this for,” I’d think one would say “I did this for him,” so I’d use “whom” in there.

      And there are people who use “they’res”?! Wow, I’m shocked. They’re beyond all hope. How do they even come up with something like that? That’s the equivalent of making a strong statement about their own, uh, intelligence.

  4. Parthajeet Sarmah

    Hi5! Lord, you actually remember that :D though you’ve got to admit, for all its faults, Orkut was pretty much our generation’s first brush with social network. Sad how it died, but if the cost of keeping it up is to tolerate those messages which hit one with all the elegance of buckshot at point blank range, I will just accept this ‘loss’ and pray for Orkut’s soul!

    • Karishma

      Credit must be given where due and I’ll give it that: Before Facebook and Twitter took over everyone’s lives, Orkut and, before that, Hi5 filled that void. I still haven’t become Twitter-savvy, mostly because I don’t want to start thinking in only sentences of 140 characters or less. Wonder how well Google + will catch on…

  5. Parthajeet Sarmah

    Well, as far as I’ve seen it, Google+ is pretty much a flop right now, not having really taken off the way they expected it to. And Twitter… well, for people like us, it’s pretty much impossible to cramp our lives into 140 words or less! I’m on Twitter, but somehow, it hasn’t really appealed to me the way it does to some. But as opposed to a detailed blog bearing a person’s thoughts and opinions, 140 words could barely cut it… unless of course you’re used to coming up with earthshaking headlines the way the newspaper guys do! Honestly, that’s one of the only few sensible ways to fit something of importance within that short a word limit.

    • Karishma

      You’re right, Twitter can actually be a good way for those with large audiences to keep in touch with their fans or followers, for companies to stay in touch with their customers, keep them engaged, make them feel connected, etc. But for those of us who don’t have a multitude of random thoughts which are less than 140 characters but simply must be shared at frequent intervals Twitter isn’t as useful. I personally use it mostly when I see a tweet to which I’d like to respond. However, in this technological age, one must learn to use it for professional purposes at least. There’s no denying that advantageous aspect of its popularity, and so I’m still struggling to learn to get with it, i.e. Twitter.

      As for Google+, frankly, I hope the fad passes and it dies out. And quick. Tomorrow would be good.

  6. Parthajeet Sarmah

    Well, criticize Twitter as we might, I actually know quite a few Web 2.0 (!?) professionals who make their living from this thingus and others of its ilk! Not that any of their efforts to hammer Twitter-speak into my head has been of any use… I just post some random updates, like links to good articles or music that I come across, every now and then (which probably explains my poor following!)

    And as for Google+, since you have mentioned that tomorrow would be good for it to die out, let me assure you, among most people I know, it died out yesterday! :D *Yay! moment*

    • Karishma

      Hahah! If that were a post or a comment on Facebook, I would show everyone that I “like” it by clicking that thumbs up sign which would be present underneath it. Here I’ll use words: SO glad to hear that! Let’s hope we don’t get any more emails about circles, triangles and parallelograms.

  7. Parthajeet Sarmah

    Hahaha :D parallelograms! Haven’t seen any of those ever since I got out school, except maybe map plotting and astronomy, which I would do out of pure interest and not for my exams! But I have to hand it to Lord Zuckerburg. He’s made his pot of gold at our expense! And as our Lord Z would recommend, I hereby ‘Like’ the comment above!! *…while I try to figure out what this ‘Poke’ business is all about*

    Ps: Speaking of Facebook, I don’t know if you may have seen this, but it’s certainly worth a watch! http://bit.ly/FBinRealLife

  8. Parthajeet Sarmah

    Oh yeah, *epic* on so many levels :) by the way, your other post on books got me thinking, so right now I’m in the process of writing one myself… keep eyes peeled! Would love to hear your thoughts on that one!


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