Gini Dietrich

Grammar Pet Peeves

By: Gini Dietrich | February 2, 2011 | 

Before I get started, WE HAVE SNOW!!! And a ton of it. I’ll do the Facebook question of the week tomorrow from the great outdoors so you can see all of the glorious white stuff that is making me so happy. But…we also lost power so I’m having to write quickly to conserve battery power. I have three hours and 55 minutes left right now.

On Sunday, I was visiting Shonali Burke’s blog, Waxing Unlyrical, and her weekly recap, when I came across Jen Zingsheim, a former FH flack (me, too!) and author over at Media Bullseye.

While she doesn’t claim to be Grammar Girl (and really, who is?), she had a great piece titled, “Things That Bug Me More Than They Should.” In it she describes several things that irritate her about our use of the English language and, if you’re like me and agree, you’ll find her snarkiness very funny.

I wrote a comment with the few things that bug me and, because I’m getting close to not having any battery left and because it’s also educational, I thought I’d share my own grammar pet peeves here.

  1. Impact: You can have impacted teeth. A plane can combust on impact. But you cannot have an impact on something. Learn the difference between effect and affect and use those words instead.
  2. Over and Under: A number can not be over or under another number. It can be “more than.” It can be “less than.” But all of those billboards that are trying to save space and read, “Over six gazillion people use our service”? They’re wrong. Just because everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s right. Now you’re going to edit billboards in your head. Sorry.
  3. Irregardless: This just isn’t a word so stop using it. The word is regardless.
  4. Utilize: Right after I graduated from college, I had this boss who was a grammar Nazi. She used to say, “Oh you think you’re so smart? You can’t use the word “use” instead of utilize?” I loved her.
  5. Like: I had a client whose pet peeve was the word “like.” He would say, “Why can’t you say “such as” instead?” So now I cannot write, “Put comfort foods in the recipe, like chicken, beans, and potatoes.” I have to instead write, “Put comfort foods in the recipe, such as chicken, beans, and potatoes.”

What are some of your grammar pet peeves?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • You’ve lost power! Ugh. I hope it comes back soon – that was the WORST last week, when we had our big storm.

    I need to go comment on jenzings ‘ great post as well, but here are a couple of my pet peeves:

    1. Not knowing when to use its or it’s, your or you’re. Come ON, people.

    2. “Leverage.” I am so so SO tired of this word. Leverage this, leverage that. Why not add a fulcrum while you’re about it?

    Ugh. Now stay safe, Gini!

  • Learnings–
    A great management power word and meeting ‘must use’ word. The corporate world seems to thrive on that buzzword. The word ‘learnings’ doesn’t exist people its lessons!!! For crying OUT LOUD!

  • Affect and Effect – that one drives me nuts.
    “Centered Around” – gobbledygook jargon.
    Its and It’s – This was so hard for me to get straight that it makes me angry when people are lazy with it.

    All the other ones are ones you mentioned. I love grammar stuff. Have you read Eats, Shoots & Leaves” about punctuation? It’s hilarious.

  • There is a difference between awhile and a while. You can stay for A While but you cannot stay for AWHILE.

    Also maybe and may be. “Jamey may be insane. Maybe I am. or maybe I’m not.” Do you understand the difference?.

    And clearly, folks do take note there is a quantitative difference between “ya’ll” and “all ya’ll”. Ya’ll is relatively small in quantity. For example, “Mrs. Jones, while ya’ll were vacationing at the Okefenokee Swamp, did your family get to eat any gator tail?” Whereas, all ya’ll is a greater collective. “You Auburn fans are living in blind ignorance. All ya’ll will be sorely disappointed when the NCAA strips away your National Title.” See the difference? Now all ya’ll Northern Peoples won’t stick out like such a sore thumb when you come a visiting us gentle southern folk.

    @ginidietrich Just trying to make it so you fit in as much as possible down here so you don’t wind up being the ‘target’ of people watching instead of the ‘practitioner’

  • ginidietrich

    @johnfalchetto LOL! We could write another entire post on corporate BS jargon. I’m headed over to your blog in a minute.

  • ginidietrich

    @Shonali Right?! If you can say it is or your are, there is an apostrophe. And, like @johnfalchetto , we should write a blog post on corporate words.

  • jenzings

    Ha! Thanks for mentioning the post–it was fun to write. I’ve thought of several more, but I think homonyms and homophones seem to present issues for a lot of people. I see “pray” and “prey” mixed up more than I ever thought possible, and yesterday I saw “air” and “err” mixed up. No joke.

    And irregardless sets my teeth on edge. Argh!

  • ginidietrich

    @joey_strawn I did read it! A few years ago. I think it’s in my bookshelf at work…I’ll have to look.

  • ginidietrich

    @JamesDBurrell2 Wow. And here I thought ya’ll wasn’t even a word.

  • ginidietrich

    @jenzings And ado and adieu! Oh this is fun!

  • dzikakis

    Thanks, Gini. This is needed so much! Another one I’ve heard lately is “infer” instead of “imply.”

  • @ginidietrich It’s that kind of thinking that gets you held back a grade or two. I finally learned my lesson in the fifth grade. By the time I finished my elementary school graduation exam that included sections ‘such as’ “How to field dress a buck”, “Properly removing your Camaro’s restrictor plate”, and “Is the Denim tuxedo appropriate for this occasion?” (it was a trick question. It’s always appropriate), I’d never been so relieved to get in my Chevy pickup truck and drive myself home.

    Ah, gotta luv our skoolin don her in the south. I wuz lerned so much.

  • RebekahCrane

    This isn’t really grammar, but I hate when people say “No problem.” The proper response is “You’re welcome.” Also… the dangling preposition. “Where you at?” There are so many things wrong with that sentence, or should I say fragment. “Who are you with?” Make the insanity stop!

  • JenMarsikFriess

    Another former FHer weighs in! I second Shonali: I’m amazed at the rising misuse if its and it’s. Over and more than has to be one of the most common (and most painful) errors I see. You said it all with this statement: “Just because everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s right.”

  • @RebekahCrane OH! I HATE “where you at?” Or “I don’t have nothing…” (Pull my hair out!)

  • bconrey

    @johnfalchetto Yes, “learnings” seems to be used frequently in some of my circles. How does adding an ‘s’ to the end of a verb instantly change it to a noun??

  • Effect and affect get me all the time. Either I just avoid using them or I hafta (ha ha), er, need to research them again and again before I use them.
    I was taught at an early age that proper writing involves no contrations. What do you think? I always correct my kids when they write reports. No on “don’t”, it is do not. In my blog I am more relaxed about my rule but if I am being graded you will find no contrations.

  • jenzings

    @JenMarsikFriess The Media Bullseye site is down right now (getting fixed as we speak) but in that post I speculated why this might be a growing problem. Other than sheer laziness and not knowing (and by the way, my husband contributed that he had seen the inexplicable its’ the other day), I’ve had Word suggest the *incorrect* version a number of times, and my Android phone also automatically has changed my correct usage to the incorrect form.

    It’s bad enough that actual humans don’t know the difference, but I’m particularly put out when I am prompted by a machine to use the wrong form!

  • bconrey

    “Got” makes me crazy, partially because I had to work hard to learn to use it less often. It’s not “We have got” – you either have or you don’t have. It’s not “We got them xxxx”, we purchased it for them, we picked it up for them, or something along those lines.

  • jenzings

    @JamesDBurrell2 @ginidietrich From what I recall, that’s referred to as “book learnin’.”

    I spent nine years in mid-Missouri, and I love that you’ve included “y’all” and “all y’all” in this…

  • LauriRottmayer

    “A part” and “apart”. They are completely opposite of each other. If you want someone to be “a part” of your cause, you do not invite them to be “apart” of it. There are more, but that one is foremost on my mind. 🙂

  • PattiRoseKnight

    The wrong use of the words – to, too or two

  • LauriRottmayer

    @ginidietrich @jenzings How about dido instead of ditto? LOL!

  • ginidietrich

    @PattiRoseKnight Patti! That’s a good one. You’re right!

  • ginidietrich

    @LauriRottmayer LOL! Love that one, too.

  • ginidietrich

    @bconrey Oh yes! We’ve got makes me nuts. It’s we have so we’ve works just as well. Oy.

  • “Composed of” vs “comprise”. I even see profession journalists get this one wrong. They are NOT interchangeable and you don’t sound smarter when you substitute comprised when you mean composed.

    The rule: the whole comprises the parts. The parts compose the whole.

    WRONG: A deck of cards is comprised of 52 cards.

    RIGHT: A deck of cards is composed of 52 cards

    RIGHT: A deck of cards comprises 52 cards.

  • ginidietrich

    @AllieRambles I was taught the same thing and people make fun of me when I write without contraction. So, like you, I’ve tried to be more relaxed when blogging and on the social networks. We have a client, though, who refuses contractions when we write speeches for him, but he always changes it when he speaks. Hilarious.

  • ginidietrich

    @jenzings @JenMarsikFriess I think you’re right about the auto correct thing. Probably someone whose first language is not English programmed the phones. 🙂 Speaking of…have you seen You’ll lose some time in there.

  • ginidietrich

    @AllieRambles @RebekahCrane HAHHA! I also hate sentences that end with a preposition. HATE.

    Bekah – when it stops snowing and blowing wind, can the girls go make snow angels with me?

  • ginidietrich

    @dzikakis Great. Now when someone says that and it grates my teeth, I’ll blame you.

  • theunplanner

    I would like to add its and it’s. It’s is a contraction and stands for “it is.” If you cannot substitute “it is” in it’s place in the sentence, please do not use it!

  • ginidietrich

    @LauriRottmayer @jenzings Dido?! LOL!!

  • ginidietrich

    @johnheaney You only sound smarter if the person you’re talking to doesn’t know the difference.

  • LouBortone

    Hi Gini:

    I love this post! Aint words great?

    However, I have to disagree with number three. As a Boston native, I am ethically and contractually required to use Irregardless. Maybe it’s a local dialect thing – I’ll have to check with Ben Affleck. Irregardless, I agree with everything else in your list…

  • The misuse of “compliment” when the writer really means “complement”.

    Although the words are pronounced the same, they have very different meanings. When you compliment someone, you are giving them praise; while complement represents completing or making something perfect. You can remember this by the word with the “e” also means complete. Complement = complete. Here are a few examples:

    I complimented her on her beautiful gown.
    Her gown complemented her earrings perfectly.
    The dancer received many compliments for her beauty and grace on stage.
    The music was a perfect complement to her dancing style.

  • ginidietrich

    @LouBortone LOL! Well, Ben Affleck is hot, if nothing else, so I’d go with his opinion on it.

  • ginidietrich

    @johnheaney Oh! And stationary and stationery.

  • noovai

    I love every comment that improves the way people use language! English is not my mother tongue so I must ask: my actions can _have_ an impact, and I can _make_ an impact, but are you saying I cannot _have_ an impact on something? (See,

    Examples – and corrections – of misspelling that drive me nuts:

  • daniellemkelly

    Great post! I really enjoyed reading it. I would saw then vs than is a pet peeve of mine. It’s and Its are a close second. I agree with Noovai, I love The Oatmeal post about misspelling. It makes me laugh when I am having a bad day. You should check out their post about the use of the semicolon too, equally funny stuff.

  • lisagerber

    And another thing!! Orientate, and disorientated, are NOT WORDS!

  • Nothing like a post that hits home. As far as pet peeves, misspelled words make me nuts. With all the tools available, there is no reason to misspell a word. The rules of grammar are malleable. Growing up “ain’t” wasn’t a word (OK acceptable contraction). I have been told that “ain’t” is no longer merely slang. So what was once poor grammar is no longer poor grammar.

  • lisagerber

    @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto oh oh oh i love making fun of corporate jargon. we used to play corporate jargon bingo in meetings which is stupid because I’d bust out laughing when someone says “low hanging fruit” and “at the end of the day” . It was really unprofessional when I stood up and shouted BINGO! when someone said “helicoptor up to 30,000 feet”

  • jenzings

    @ginidietrich @LauriRottmayer Oh, God–this takes the cake for homophones. From a post on a large blog: “The CSR, [redacted], was able to see the credit (not a poultry sum coming in at $385.04) but told me it was placed “on hold.”

    A poultry sum? REALLY?

    We need to keep a list of these…

  • Hmmm… People use the word Ironic incorrectly.

    I HATE “I don’t_____ nothing”

    My 5 year old has been saying liberry because that is how he hears it at school (IRKS ME) – so I make him practice liBRary (I know it is speech and not grammar, but that came to mind.)

    I have, like, totally tried to irradicate ‘like’ from my vocabulary.

    prepositions at the end of a sentence… enough said.

    and the all time favorites, too to, your you’re…

    Irregardless, I think I can utilize this comment box and put lots of stuff, like over 100 comments, would that have an impact on you?

    LOL – sorry, couldn’t resist! xoxo

  • @JamesDBurrell2 @ginidietrich I’m from the south – so grew up using Y’all – spelled that way.. I can live with ridicule on that but, seriously, you also have to pick on my team?? 🙂

  • Glad you’re enjoying the snowpocalypse too… Though i guess today its starting to turn into the ice capades today. As for my grammer pet peeve it would have to be people that use “your” when trying to shorten “you are”. Come on its “you’re”!

  • Glad you’re enjoying the snowpocalypse too… Though i guess today its starting to turn into the ice capades. As for my grammer pet peeve it would have to be people that use “your” when trying to shorten “you are”. Come on its “you’re”!

  • All I have to say is this:

    Additionally, while not a grammar peeve per se, I get really antsy over blog posts where the formatting jumps between normal font and bold or large, with no rhyme or reason why it does. 😉

  • mikecollado

    When I first started working, I was shocked to read memos and emails from the CEO and other executives that were filled with grammatical errors and other misused words. I thought, “How in the world did these people get these jobs when they butcher the English language?” (Spoken like an English major!) For context, most were technologists. I’m more numb to it but I still zero-in on these things…

    Misused words pet peeve: “there” vs. “their” vs. “they’re.” Didn’t we get taught that in, say, fourth grade? Ugh!

    Corporate BS jargon pet peeve: “a leading provider of…” Seems like EVERY technology company claims this in their press releases. Yawn! I’ve always wanted to do a satirical press release that describes the entity as mediocre or fair-to-middling. I recently wrote about this and other marketing peeves on my blog.

    Frightening misused words trend: a high school senior I know from my local cycling club routinely uses “an” instead of “and” in his Facebook posts. For instance, “I ate a burger an fries.” I assume he’s a product of Hooked on Phonics. Makes you wonder what there – er, they’re (sorry, couldn’t resist!) – teaching these kids in school!

    I suspect SMS and FB will exacerbate this trend. Very scary.

    Sending you a virtual generator and snowplow…

  • LauriRottmayer

    @barryrsilver In my world it is. It sounds uneducated to me.

  • LauriRottmayer

    @ginidietrich @LouBortone My husband made up a word, valable – kind of a combo of valid and valuable – and he uses it. He is of the opinion that if you use it with confidence, no one will question you, irregardless of whether it’s a word or not. LOLOLOL! 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @DannyBrown Yes. Me too. It’s driving me flipping bananas.

  • @jenzings Did ya’ll take riverboat ferries to school & have to whitewash Aunt Polly’s fence? Just trying to go stereotypical Missoura (?), since er’body assumes us Gaw’gins sip moonshine, wear overalls, and eat er’thing fried — just watch the 30 Rock episode that mentions ‘Stone Mountain’. — Excuse me, Ms. Tina Fey, but Stone Mountain, GA is 10 minutes outside Atlanta proper. Why’s er’body always pickin’ on us poor south’n folk? We just some good ol’ gun carryin, Bible totin’, tooth losin’ folk.

    Oh, which reminds me gini dietrich — Lose vs. Loose. How do people make this egregious error with such consistency? So aggravating.

  • LauriRottmayer

    @mikecollado The one that makes me crazy in the corporate BS jargon section is “having said that”. Really? You have to say that you said it?

  • scmacpherson

    Using “seen” instead of “saw” is a big one. As in, “Yup, I seen her”. No, you SAW her, or you haven’t SEEN her. Yeesh.

    There’s also the “uh huh”, instead of “you’re welcome” that you get after thanking someone for transferring your call.

  • @RandomShelly Sorry to throw you Auburn folk under the proverbial bus. You know we Georgia fans hold our grudges. Give me a few months, and my animosity will subside because as any good SEC fan will tell you, this year is our year, the year we are going all the way. Oh — and today is National Signing day (you know it’s considered a holiday here in the Southeast).

  • FocusedWords

    I realize that the post is about grammar but could I add a couple of phrases?
    Can’t have your cake and eat it too. Sure you can. Wht you can’t do is Eat your cake and have it too.
    Arguably this is the best…. Of course it’s arguable, everyone in the US manages to argue with everything. Why state the obvious?

  • @ginidietrich @AllieRambles @RebekahCrane Like totally OMG!! Is anyone else nervous (not that it matters because we will all be taking celestial dirt naps) about how moronic literature will be in 100 years? Run-ons, short-hand, double negatives, adjectives pulled from Urban Dictionary not Webster’s, the absence of Whom and Whose, and multiple references to Snookie<<--- all plagues that will befall future literary movements. I tremble at the thought.

  • @lisagerber @ginidietrich Yep sounds like my meeting games, the best part is when you get to win the bingo by making up a sentence with all the words you needed to scream Bingo. Missing a few. here I go ‘at the end of the day we need to leverage our learnings into a win-win situation which challenges the current paradigm’

  • @lisagerber Maybe to you but they become words when you are in a group in the woods, its getting dark and you are lost! 🙂

  • @lisagerber Don’t tell that to Bear Grylls though. I also am amused how he ‘utilizes’ the word ‘slippy’ instead of ‘slippery’. The English and their silly dialect of the English language.

  • patrickreyes

    My oldest has called me out a lot over the last 2 weeks in the use of gotta, wanna, and gonna…

    She’s completely right and now I’m irritated when I catch myself and others using it!

  • @scmacpherson I was trying to remember more pet peeves and this one is in my top ten! You “SAW” her! damn it!

  • Funny, I wrote about a different kind of language inflation today … the excessive use of superlatives:

    The use of excessively big words like “impacted” and “utilize” is very foolish sounding, but correctly using “affect” and “effect” marks you as a major language geek (and … I love it! 🙂 )

  • scmacpherson

    @AllieRambles Could be considered a direct correlation to one’s proximity to a trailer.

  • scmacpherson

    @AllieRambles Could be considered a direct correlation to ones proximity to a trailer. No apostrophe in “ones”, correct?

  • LauriRottmayer

    @JamesDBurrell2 @ginidietrich @AllieRambles @RebekahCrane I bought a book to read that didn’t last for all of my 15 hour plane ride. After I read it in three hours, I went through and started editing it. True story. I’m not quite finished but when I am, I’m sending it back to the publisher. LOL!

  • Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this! I won’t go on and on about my own grammatical pet peeves because some have already been covered and because I could go on for a very long time. But one of mine is literally. Use it only when it really happened, and don’t use the word to modify something unimpressive. He literally can’t understand something? Unimpressive. Her head literally exploded? I want some evidence of that.

  • JenMarsikFriess

    @jenzings Autotext is killing us!

  • Hello to you Gini Dietrich

    I am very much tired to make good long typing. Bat, wat is this pet peeve you talk about? All animals pee :). If you no speak London very best and you like English very much and you make learning but you no write good. It’s okay? Me, I say – okay. But me don’t want to make the concentration toooo much to read.

    Alright enough of the madness.

    They’re not so much pet peeves but I do come across them a lot. At first, they use to bug me a bit, but now that I see them often and I’m sure I make a few myself – I don’t bother and I try to see past them.

    Your and you’re:
    Is your grandma pretty?
    You’re so pretty.
    Got it?! You’re is you are folks.

    There, their and they’re:
    Look over there.
    It’s their house.
    They’re going to school.
    Got it? Great 🙂

    It’s and its:
    It’s is it + is. Ooo, that line is fun to say a few times fast. Try it.

    Compliment and complement – I think someone mentioned that already so I won’t go into details here.

    Too, two, to:
    I want one too!
    There are two pigs in the pond.
    Are you going to the party?
    Got it? Super 🙂

    A lot and alot – there is no alot – but there is Alotta Fagina – ask Austin Powers ;).
    Access and excess:
    You can access the stairs through these doors.
    I had to pay for my excess luggage.

    I’m sure I have “a lot” more to add, but I cannot “access” parts of my brain right now because “it’s” a bit tired :). But I’ll be back soon.

    Please God let me not have made too many mistake here lol ;).

  • @Griddy And you know what the funniest part of all this is? The folks who NEED to be reading it are probably not, and we are all just schooling each other, LOL!

  • @FocusedWords “Why state the obvious?” Because it’s so much fun. :p

  • @Shonali @Griddy …preaching to the choir! But isn’t it great to rant to people who get it!

  • @LauriRottmayer @mikecollado I. Hate. “Having said that.” Another variation I roll my eyes over is “that said.” Yuck. And by now my BS-dar is so honed I just KNOW when it’s coming.

  • @RandomShelly Also “ackshully” and “axe me” (for “ask me”).

  • @DannyBrown LOL, I’m SO glad it isn’t just me who is bothered by this stuff!

  • LauriRottmayer

    It’s not a grammatical thing but why do people say “I mean’ to start a sentence when they haven’t said anything in the first place? This usually happens during interviews after the interviewer asks them a question. They respond, “I mean blah blah blah…” What? Did they say something in their head? Do they think they said it out loud? This confuses me. It’s very prevalent. I wrote a blog post about it last year. 🙂

  • Oooo I got another one 🙂

    Oh, and in case you missed it – the “mistake” (on purpose) in my last sentence was that I left out the “S”. I also wanted to write “hear” instead of “here” but I forgot lol. So…

    Hear and here:
    Are you here Gini?
    Can you hear me Gini?

    This is fun – no doubt I’ll be back with more hahaha.

  • I told you I’d be back lol

    Then and than:
    Anyone care to give this one a go? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  • @JamesDBurrell2 @ginidietrich @AllieRambles @RebekahCrane This post and comments make me think of Ray Bradbury’s short story “A Sound of Thunder” where the character goes back in time and steps on a butterfly which changes the future (his present). When he arrives back home nothing is quite right, including the grammar on the campaign poster on the wall.

    Whenever I see or hear back grammar (particularly when it is delivered by the media!) I think ;”someone has gone back in time and stepped on a butterfly!

  • NicoleBranigan

    omg irregardless…

  • JoyFull_deb

    grammar is my worst thingy!!! LoL …that’s probably bad grammar.
    but on the happy side…..YOU HAVE SNOW and tons of it!! i know that makes you happy :=)

  • @Griddy Can I ask why you chose Grandma in your example of “Is your grandma pretty?”? I may be (not maybe) splitting hairs here (not hear) but it seems to me, when most people think ‘pretty’, they don’t immediately associate the word with someone’s grandmother. Beautiful? Perhaps, but not pretty. Beautiful can be used describe a grandmother’s personality or heart, so it seems to fit. But ‘pretty’? You’re an oddball Ms. Griddy. Go get some sleep.

    Clearly, you should have asked “Gini, is the flower, drawn by Jamey, that hangs on “your” fridge pretty?” That would have been a very applicable & acceptable question to be asked.

    I bid you uh-doo. {smilies}

  • FollowtheLawyer

    Not long ago I read a post by a well-known law marketing blogger and encountered the phrase “for all intensive purposes” — and that’s all I remember about the post. Jarring mistakes trip readers and distract them from your message.

    Further, what does it say about the quality of the product or service you’re selling? Sloppy writing and usage convey inattention to detail.

    Even now, in the age of 140-character, thumb-typed communication, attention to spelling, usage and grammar are valuable because they make for clear, easy and enjoyable reading, and they inform the way others perceive your personal and professional brand.

    Tolerances vary widely. Even if some — or most — friends and business associates don’t care about grammar peeves, some will. Is irritating or alienating even a small fraction of current/potential clients and influencers due to lazy communication an acceptable loss?

  • @JamesDBurrell2 Hahaha!
    Well Jamey, grandma was more fun. That’s the only answer I got for ya – oh, that and the fact that mine had just called – Oh wow – didn’t think of that. Hmm…interesting how the mind works ain’t it? 😉

    Clearly you are right. I should have asked Gini about your flower :). But I was kinda jealous that I didn’t have one of my own ;). Kidding mwahaha

  • I guess this would be more of a punctuation pet peeve, rather than a grammar pet peeve, but how about the overuse of ellipses!? I’m guilty of this on a daily basis…


  • Can interject with a reference to the greatest educational tool of all time? I swear this is not an exaggeration but a known fact. Of course, I’m referring to the School House Rock video series — Remember, “Grammar’s not your Grandma, it’s your Grammar. Grammar Rocks!” Anyone remember those? That is all.

  • I forgot the “I” between Can and Interject — epic fail on my part.

  • LauriRottmayer

    @FollowtheLawyer I agree! Just as with too many ums the misuse of a word will totally derail (for me) the message that is being delivered.

  • 3HatsComm

    @barryrsilver Thank you Barry. We live in the spellcheck world, so when I get emails just riddled with typos.. even when sent via smartphone.. it makes me cringe. Do clients, vendors, customers get emails like this from you all the time, what does it say about you as a professional that you can’t review something before you hit “send.” Agree that the “rules” of grammar are flexible, but IMO you gotta know them to know how best to break them.

  • FeliciaCago

    I get stabby when people say, or write, “John and I’s biggest wish came true when we were joined in holy matrimony…”

    It’s “John’s and my biggest wish” people!

    Wrong – Please help John and I.
    Right – Please help John and me.

    Right: John and I would love to help John and me.

    I’ll stop now.

  • @JamesDBurrell2 Schoolhouse Rock ROCKED. My personal favorite is “Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?”

  • 3HatsComm

    @ginidietrich @johnheaney Mismatched homonyms and synonyms trip up a lot people as they’re spelled correctly but the wrong word. If our English teachers could see us now. 😉

  • dbsalk

    SO many people use “good” and “well” incorrectly.

    You can be good at something.
    You can do something well.

    Wrong: You do something good.

    I hear this happen all the time from supposedly smart individuals: Elected officials, CEOs, well-known artists. When I hear it in a tv show or movie, I want to find the writer and ask them if I can have their job.

  • Lisa Gerber

    @dbsalk and when someone says, “how are you?” – you’re WELL not good.

  • 3HatsComm

    Nice to see the love of proper grammar. Looked over the posts, to hope I don’t duplicate some shares. 1) @oatmeal has done some good stuff on spelling, grammar, punctuation. 2) The “over” vs. “more than” is oft debated, but I totally agree w/ you. 3) Utilize vs. use. See @unsuckit for that and many more. FWIW.

  • FocusedWords

    @Lori @Shonali @Griddy Amen to that!

  • Lisa Gerber

    @johnfalchetto @lisagerber So are you saying, if i get lost in the woods, I’m so disoriented that I become disorientated? I think that must be the problem!!!

  • LauriRottmayer

    @dbsalk Yelling at the TV/radio on this one all the time!

  • @KatieFassl I scoured youtube for a video of the introduction, but alas, I did not succeed in my endeavor.

  • KevinVandever

    I didn’t know the feeling until I read Felicia’s comment, but “stabby” describes my intentions perfectly when I see or hear “irregardless”.

    Most of my other peeves have already been mentioned by you’re real smart readers. There two smart for words, really. Their comments are so perfect! Its crazy. Reading them each day really effects my friends and I. Your lucky to be able to utilize they’re comments in such a way to as to make a postive impact on so many lives.

    Oh, there is a peeve I didn’t see mentioned: A preposition is something you should never end a sentence with.

  • @SpinSucks
    You should always attend the orientation if you want to avoid an occident.

    (that may be a bit too subtle for most people, but it’s a fave of mine)

  • @LauriRottmayer Lauri, I won’t use “ain’t” either. This issue is whether you will accept another’s use of the term. More importantly, the issue is rules of grammar are subject to change. Specifically grammar becomes more inclusive as phrases become accepted into normal lexicon.

  • FeliciaCago

    @KevinVandever Hey Kevin!

  • @3HatsComm Spellcheck is a definite. Use a human proofreader when ever possible because spell check won’t catch know when you mean no. I agree that you should know and understand a rule before choosing to bend the rule. I think both you and Lauri are suggesting that when in doubt err towards being too conservative. Word.

  • unklbuck

    Some of my greatest grammar misses include:

    a)Incorrectly substituting “leverage” when you mean “use”. Leverage implies some kind of multiplication of effort.

    b)Using the phrase “going forward” in place of “in the future”. I think that falls under the category of dangling prepositions. My response is typically, “Going forward… towards what?”

    c)The misuse of “out of pocket” when you mean “I’m not available”. Out of pocket means you’re paying for it with your own money, as in, ” During his trip to Seattle, Ray paid for the dancers out of pocket and did not include them on his expense report as ‘Entertainment'”

  • @KevinVandever HILARIOUS!

  • @KatieFassl They’re my BFF…

  • LOVE this post so much!!!!!! Obviously, irregardless is the WORST offender here. Perhaps what makes me cringe even more than the word itself is when I hear a top level, highly educated, exec say it and say it with some sort of weird audacity. Nails. On. A. Chalkboard.

    My other most hated item: ending your sentence with a preposition. (@KevinVandever highlighted this one so well below). I had a great aunt who would gleefully correct this scenario with ‘behind the at’ or ‘after the at’. For example: “Where is your mother at? Behind the At.”
    When presented with the puzzled look that followed that response, she would simply explain that you don’t end a sentence with a preposition. Once with that experience was enough.

  • jenzings

    I have another one: people who write “I could care less.” That means that yes, there is a level of caring that is lower than the current. If you’ve reached the basement of caring, so to speak, it is “I could not care less.”

  • Steve_Law

    Words such as “mindscape” and “headspace” really get on my nerves but “dreamscape” is okay for some reason!

    jenzings David Mitchel sums up “I could care less” best: ^_^

  • 3HatsComm

    @EricaAllison I can relate. My dad, when asked the “dad can I…” question would reply “I don’t know.. CAN you?” We learned to ask “may I” at an early age. And yes I’ve started doing the same, can’t help myself. 😉

  • 3HatsComm

    @Shonali Can’t help myself, Leverage unsucked.

  • FeliciaCago

    @jenzings Oh, good one.

  • FocusedWords

    @FeliciaCago @jenzings Wish I had thought of it.

  • “Irregardless: This just isn’t a word so stop using it. The word is regardless.”


    Also, I hate when people can’t quite nail down the proper there, their, or they’re to use when typing. We’ve all made the mistake on an occasion or two, but people consistently do that irk me.

  • Oh shit – – looking up effect and affect now!

    I always get smarter when I visit this blog…

    Update: still trying to get those two different meaning to sink in – – tired!

  • @Griddy I think you meant ‘mistakes’ – haha

  • @joey_strawn haha — missed your reply Joey, I’m happy that I’m not the only one Affect and Effect drives nuts!

  • mayaBY

    Oh one of my favorite topics, Gini!

    Premiere vs premier
    Affect vs effect
    Who vs whom
    People who say “Her and I”
    Then vs than
    Its vs it’s

    I could go on and on…

  • bricefaubel

    I could probably comment for days, but here 2 hot buttons for me:
    1: “a whole nother…” Come on, idiots, the correct phrase is “a whole other.” Learn it.
    2. the use of “bandwidth” as a term to represent availability – makes me want to smack someone.
    (feel free to include the latter in the Marketing Speak follow-up post)

    Oh, and the excuses that we are becoming more casual as professionals or that we are emailing on our phones or texting should never be accepted.

  • ginidietrich

    @mayaBY Her and I?! OMG! I’d hit someone! LOL! This is fun!!

  • bricefaubel

    I could probably comment for days, but here are 2 hot buttons for me:

    1: “a whole nother…” Come on, idiots, the correct phrase is “a whole other.” Learn it.
    2. the use of “bandwidth” as a term to represent availability – makes me want to smack someone. (feel free to include the latter in the Marketing Speak follow-up post)

    Oh, and the excuses that we are becoming more casual as professionals or that we are emailing on our phones or texting should never be accepted.

  • ginidietrich

    @GACConsultants LOL! I had a colleague who would walk around the office repeating the definitions of both over and over and over again. Sometimes she still calls me to ask.

  • ginidietrich

    @JMattHicks I agree with that, but to jen zingsheim point, sometimes auto correct does that, even when you get it right. This isn’t grammar, but my phone always changes ski to aki. Drives me nuts.

  • ginidietrich

    @Steve_Law This just makes me want to send you a note with all of those words in it.

  • sarabroderick

    Great post. I agree on all five. My top two grammar pet peeves are probably “over” v. “more than” and “effect/affect.” (Helpful tip is that “effect” is typically a noun.)

    Other pet peeves:

    Because v. since
    People use “since” to provide rationale. For example, “Since it snowed, I am going to shovel.” The correct way is “Because it snowed, I am going to shovel.” “Since” should only be used when referring to time. “Since it started snowing, I have shoveled three times.”

    Dangling participle
    A dangling participle modifies an incorrect subject or noun. Here’s an example, “Skiing down the mountain, the snow-covered trees looked beautiful.” The correct structure might be, “Skiing down the mountain, we saw beautiful snow-covered trees.”

  • ginidietrich

    @EricaAllison @3HatsComm I freaking hate sentences that end with a preposition! Minus my mom’s “Remember who you are and what you stand for” that she said every time we left the house, it drives me crazy.

  • GripCommPR

    1. Incent – it was a while ago, but I once had to sit through a multi-day business retreat where a guy from Tulsa who was with our parent company kept talking (in a well-honed drawl) about how the company was looking for new ways to incent us to be more productive. My ears bled.

    2. “Her and I”, “Me and her” as in “Her and I went to the store yesterday.”

    3. Go/goes – So she goes, “Why can’t you be more like him?” and I go, “What does THAT mean?”

    4. Verses – This is a growing favorite among grade school kids, though I believe I’ve succeeded in eradicating it from under my roof. It grew out of the term “versus” as in “Ali versus (or vs.) Frazier.” The kids have twisted it and made it into a conjugated verb as in, “Yesterday we versed the Colts in baseball. Next week we’re versing the Bluejays. But we’ve never versed the Reds before.”

    5. Stint vs. stent – unfortunately, this one has come to light mostly because of issues close to home, but my ER nurse sister and I, her somewhat wordwise brother, repeatedly bristled at my dad’s use of the former in place of the latter to describe the small apparatus that will soon be inserted to improve his circulation. He was, sadly, not alone in his misuse of the term.

    Well, my kids just walked through the door so I must end my post here and see if I can incent them to finish their homework. It’s always difficult versing their desires to play when they still have work to do.

  • ginidietrich

    @unklbuck LOL! I love the example.

  • GripCommPR

    @bricefaubel a whole nother – Thank you! That was the one I was thinking of but could not remember.

  • ginidietrich

    @KevinVandever I can’t read this. It’s worse than the woman driving with a neck brace. How long did it take you to write it so…badly?

  • ginidietrich

    @3HatsComm I wish I’d thought of doing something like Oatmeal. Wouldn’t that be a fun job??

  • ginidietrich

    @dbsalk Oh! Oh! What about…done and finished? Chickens are done. People are finished.

  • ginidietrich

    @FeliciaCago Stabby?! LOL! John and I’s?! I’d automatically think, “Hick.”

  • ginidietrich

    @JamesDBurrell2 Are you old enough to remember School House Rock?!

  • ginidietrich

    @EricaAllison @KatieFassl I LOVE the ellipses! In fact, I’m going to use them as many times as possible in the email I’m about to send you. I have to rewrite it now…so hang on.

  • ginidietrich

    @LauriRottmayer @FollowtheLawyer For all intensive purposes?! AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ginidietrich

    @JoyFull_deb I HAVE SO MUCH SNOW!!!

  • ginidietrich

    @NicoleBranigan OMG is right!

  • ginidietrich

    @LauriRottmayer In Chicago, it’s “right?” to start a sentence. Grates my nerves.

  • ginidietrich

    @Griddy OMG! I am CRYING at Allota Fagina! LMAO!! I just read it out loud to Mr. D.

  • ginidietrich

    @Griddy @JamesDBurrell2 The flower again! I’m going to have to prove it, aren’t I?

  • ginidietrich

    @Sushi HAHAHA! pattiknight said that on FB today!

  • ginidietrich

    @wabbitoid Impacted does not work unless you’re talking about teeth. I’m totally cool with sounding like a major language geek!

  • ginidietrich

    @patrickreyes Funny. I don’t think I’ve ever heard your shorten words like that or I would have made fun of you!

  • LauriRottmayer

    @bricefaubel Or another whole. Oy. That one makes me crazy, too, and you can hear newscasters using that phrase!

  • ginidietrich

    @GripCommPR And I was like, totally, right?!

  • ginidietrich

    @sarabroderick I think I’m in love with you.

  • ginidietrich

    @GripCommPR @bricefaubel A whole nother?! I would shoot someone for saying that!

  • ginidietrich

    @GACConsultants Psssst….Look what @sarabroderick just wrote!

  • WalkerLucas

    The grammar mistakes I hate the most, are the ones that I make myself. There is nothing worse than rereading something that I’ve written and then realizing that I made a “I should know better than that” mistake.

  • @ginidietrich @sarabroderick Ah, thanks for sharing this tip Gini — big help… Now, which was the noun again — effect or affect?

    Crap, back to the link, geez!

  • 3HatsComm

    @ginidietrich @EricaAllison I still sorta know the version of the preposition song I learned in grade school. Luckily for you, I will NOT sing it.

  • @ginidietrich @sarabroderick effect, effect, effect — pictured in my mind and sealed forever : )

  • @GACConsultants I also struggle with affect and effect but in reading your post I was struck by something other than grammar. In public domain without knowing the total audience you chose to use profanity. Before you suggest I engage in a physically impossible act, it’s not the word, it’s the forum. Perhaps there is a potential client that subscribes to the blog. Finally as I relinquish my soapbox profanity rarely strengthens a message and usually dilutes the message.

  • FollowtheLawyer

    @GACConsultants @ginidietrich @sarabroderick Both “affect” and “effect” can be a noun or a verb. “Effect” is pronounced the same in either usage, but the accent in “affect” is on the first syllable when used as a noun.

  • FollowtheLawyer

    Has anyone weighed in on e.g. vs i.e. confusion yet?

  • @ginidietrich I’m truly touched that I was able to bring tears to your eyes – really :). I’ve accomplished my mission. My work is done. I have made you laugh, snort and cry – I’m gonna keep clear from depressed and angry though haha.

  • @ginidietrich @JamesDBurrell2 Uhhhhh…no comment ;).

  • jennwhinnem

    I have a pet peeve – it’s people who pick on other people’s grammar. Which I say with all due respect, and stick with me –

    Language is an evolving thing, which means grammar evolves, as well. Some people are prescriptive grammarians – they want rules, etc. I’m a descriptive grammarian. Language evolves. Usage changes.

    Please understand, I was an English major, I’m a communications person, AND a hardcore poetry reader, so I notice when someone is “doing it wrong.” It sticks out to me. But I also believe what I wrote above, that language evolves, and if enough people take language in that direction, the “rules” change.

    NOW, another pet peeve I hate what the business world has done to language. Businesspeople pimp the words out without understanding what they mean. “Impact” “irregardless” and “utilize” are such words, to me. “Leverage synergies” hell, “leverage” anything. The entire point of business jargon is to confuse and inflate, NOT communicate. It sickens me. This is one evolution of language I will fight forever. So, I contradict myself!

  • @GACConsultants OOoo you missed my other comment? 🙁 I actually did that on purpose and I wanted to spell “here” wrong (and write “hear” instead) – but i forgot hahaha. So I made another comment about it ;).

  • KevinVandever

    @ginidietrich I think I’ve been preparing for that comment my whole life.

  • @jennwhinnem I agree with your opening premise except the onus is on the presenter of the communique to make sure that the message is received and understood. This means making sure grammar is clear so that the trees don’t block the forest. How are you on mixed metaphors?

  • @barryrsilver Hi Barry — having just ventured out into the conversations on blogs I follow, I obviously have a to bit to learn about professional etiquette. I really appreciate your helpful tone and solid point on language used in a public forum.

    I’m finding it a bit strange on why I chose the choice of words here differently than I would have say on Twitter or Facebook. I think it’s due to the playful relationship I’ve developed with Gini over the past several weeks and mutual friends we’re connected to in various communities. I just got a little too comfortable and temporarily lost my mind.

    Either way, no excuses, duly noted and much appreciated. I feel like a chump for leaving a negative impression on you — and worse the impression I may have left others. You’re tips will definitely help me improve my choice of words moving forward. Thanks again Barry.

  • 3HatsComm

    @jennwhinnem I am all for colorful phraseology, use a lot of different vernacular in my language choices. Evolution is one thing but corruption, dumbing down quite another. MMV. I’ve posted it before, you gotta know the rules to know how to break them. I am totally with you on the pointless jargon hence my links to unsuckit and now businessbarf .

  • @FollowtheLawyer @ginidietrich @sarabroderick Ah, thanks — I’m thoroughly confused again — haha!

  • @FollowtheLawyer I’ve been using i.e. thinking it meant e.g. for years… dah

  • FollowtheLawyer

    @jennwhinnem Yes, language evolves, and that means that variants and mutations have to be strong enough to assert themselves. Grammar griefers play an important and necessary role in that evolutionary struggle for meaningful expression.

  • @GACConsultants You’re definitely not the only one. We’ll hold down the fort together!

  • JGoldsborough

    Compound modifiers. Give those bad boys a hyphen, please. it’s a clear-cut grammar rule, people! 🙂

  • jennwhinnem

    @barryrsilver I agree that a shared set of rules makes communication not only easier, but possible. I highly doubt however that some of the people who break into hives over basic grammar, spelling, and homonym errors are not really having trouble understanding someone else’s meaning, they’re just irritated. If you can find me an example of someone making such egregious errors that another cannot easily understand them, I’d like to see it. As for mixed metaphors – now you’re speaking my music!

  • @Shonali Oh yeah – those raise the hair on the back of my neck!

  • jennwhinnem

    @3HatsComm Lady, you know I agree.

  • @GACConsultants No negative impression what so ever, I tend to curse like a trucker so long as my kids or Rabbi aren’t within earshot. But on the net for 5 seconds, in public domain for ever. Thanks for taking the comment in the spirit in which it was given and thanks for allowing me to have a positive affect , I mean effect or maybe I do mean affect oh the heck with it. Have a great day and happy commenting.

  • jennwhinnem

    Or are they just the apes laughing at the one who just started walking upright? I think grammar griefers miss out. They spend their time making fun of people, instead of exploring the wonderful world of language. I’m going to refer to someone else’s TED Talk here: Like her, I want to be a deep sea fisherman, NOT a traffic cop.

    That said, people’s inability to grasp the rules gives me a job. For that I am grateful.

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  • @Griddy It’s hard to keep up with the conversation in here — it’s brisk!

  • @ginidietrich Good golly gee whiz Gini, am I, like, ever old enough!!! I, like, just got my learner’s permit, like, the other, um like, day. Only 1, like, more year until I can, like, drive on my own!! Like, totally no parents!

  • cvharquail

    As a writer and a prescriptive grammarian, I must gently take issue with your assertion about the correctness of the phrase “have an impact on”. That phrase is, in fact, grammatically correct.

    There are many ways to misuse the word impact, either as a noun or as a verb. One might even misuse the phrase “have an impact on” — for example, meaning “influence” instead of “strike forcefully”.

    I’m off to patrol for the phrase “between you and I”. 😉

  • HowieSPM

    Uhm I wasn’t their a post on Madagascar or Egypt or something yesterday? Anyhoot use knows the only ways to have good gramma on and spellin on the Livefur is if they adds some spellin check feature or a re-ediit option. Just sayin.

  • HowieSPM

    BTW if this was yesterdays post does that mean I have to come back here again today for today’s post?

  • HowieSPM

    Oops it would be yesterday’s correct instead of yesterdays right?

  • bdorman264

    Whoa, way too deep; ok, I’ll give you irregardless. What I’m fixin’ to tell ya’ll is down heah in the south just give me a general picture and I’ll know what you are talking about…….doesn’t need to be perfect.

    I find malopropisms are the ones that have me shaking my head; and of course I’m the polite guy that doesn’t correct somebody. It’s humorous when people do it trying to sound intelligent and it comes out just the opposite.

    Only Yogi Berra can do it w/ style………………Deja Vu all over again…………

  • rustyspeidel

    Did someone mention “enamored with” vs “enamored of?” I HATE that one. It’s “enamored of.” That’s your only option.

    And using “like” as a comma. As in “I was like SO tired! And she was like SO tired too!” Please. Were you tired or not?? Or using it in place of speaking verbs. As in “And I was like ‘when are you coming over?’ and she was like ‘about 11:00.'” Yikes.

  • KyleAkerman

    @ginidietrich @EricaAllison @3HatsComm People end sentences with prepositions in speech all of the time. I’m not saying that makes it correct, but sometimes avoiding using the preposition at the end makes the sentence very awkward.

    Does it sound better to say “Remember who you are and that for which you stand?”

    What is the blog post about?
    About what is the blog post?

    These might be cases where the grammatically incorrect versions become acceptable.

    – Kyle

  • KyleAkerman

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  • Yes! Numbers 2, 3, and 5 are at the top of my list, too! I knew I liked you, Gini. Anyone who lists grammar pet peeves is aces in my book 😉

    Oh, the one I’ll share is “spayed”. When you have a female dog fixed, she is “spayed”. Not spade or spayeded. Females are spayed and males are neutered. Don’t make me send Bob Barker to your home to teach you the difference!

  • ginidietrich

    @jennwhinnem So let me get this straight. You’re disagreeing with me, but also agreeing with me?! I agree the language evolves, but the constant butchering of our vocabulary AND the business language drive me nuts. It’s not like me writing a blog post is going to change anything. But the next time you see a billboard that says “over,” you’re going to think, “IT IS MORE THAN, YOU MORONS!”

    Oh…and…you ARE an English major. And I am too. #justsayin

  • ginidietrich

    @jennwhinnem @barryrsilver Oh. And. I might break into hives.

  • ginidietrich

    @GACConsultants @FollowtheLawyer Ug. I’m not sure even I get that one right.

  • ginidietrich

    @WalkerLucas HAHAHA! I love that!

  • ginidietrich

    @GripCommPR It was everything I could do not to tweet you this morning and use the word incent.

  • ginidietrich

    @JGoldsborough Look at you and your big boy language!

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM Oh this makes my head hurt.

  • ginidietrich

    @cvharquail I’m off to the Sears Tower now to jump off the top. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @bdorman264 I think it’s humorous when nice Southern boys say ya’ll.

  • ginidietrich

    @rustyspeidel It sounds to me like you’ve been hanging out with teenaged girls!

  • ginidietrich

    @WordsDoneWrite LOL! Is Bob Barker still alive?

  • FollowtheLawyer

    @KyleAkerman @ginidietrich @EricaAllison @3HatsComm Not ending a sentence with a preposition is a Latin grammar rule, not an English grammar rule. In fact, it could be considered classist.

    It became an English grammar bugbear when English public school toffs (our equivalent of snobs from elite private schools), into whom Latin grammar literally had been beaten, used sentence-ending prepositions as a shibboleth to identify individuals unschooled in Latin (i.e. lower classes).

  • @ginidietrichI’m going to pretend you didn’t say that because I like you. 🙂 Yes, Bob Barker is alive and very involved in promoting animal issues. From

    “In 2010, Barker donated $5 million to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to fight whaling, as well as $1 million to SHARK to fight pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania.
    Barker has also donated $2 million to his alma mater, Drury University, to establish the Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professorship of Animal Rights and to establish an animal ethics course at Drury. Barker has also made several million-dollar donations to law schools such as the University of Virginia, Columbia Law School, and Stanford Law School, for the establishment of animal law programs.”

    Bob Barker is an amazing philanthropist. See, now aren’t you glad you asked if he was still alive?

  • ginidietrich

    @WordsDoneWrite I’m well aware of his work on having your pets taken care of, but I thought he was dead. I mean, Drew Carey hosts the show now. And does Drew Carey do the same for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society?

  • @ginidietrich You seriously thought he was dead? No, not at all. He just retired, that’s all. He was here in LA a few months ago to dedicate a building that he had built for PETA. He’s a true friend to all animals, wild and domestic.

    Ok, off my soap box now and back to grammar 😉 #SemicolonsRule

  • ginidietrich

    @WordsDoneWrite You. Are. A. Dork.

  • @ginidietrich I wear the badge proudly!

  • @ginidietrich @rustyspeidel Rusty seems to hang with the Valley Girl crowd 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @KyleAkerman @EricaAllison @3HatsComm I’m going to begin speaking and writing the way Kyle outlines above. I think that’s hilarious! And Davina?? PLEASE sing it?!

  • @ginidietrich @KyleAkerman @3HatsComm I’ve been waiting for Davina’s song for days now. And hey, we could all use a little more Latin in our lives…I can see the book now: Classist grammar for dummies!

  • HowieSPM

    Dear everyone. Don’t hold back. Seriously. Let it all out. It is ok. You are safe here among friends.

  • jennwhinnem

    @ginidietrich I am totally agreeing and disagreeing with you! Is that okay? We can do that, we’re fellow English majors (psyched to read this).

  • 3HatsComm

    @EricaAllison @ginidietrich @KyleAkerman Learned it differently in school, but this seemed to be the version most used now.

  • jelenawoehr

    @WordsDoneWrite I keep seeing “spaded!” Oddly enough they don’t appreciate me asking if that means their dog passed on and was buried with a garden spade… but I bet they’ll remember “spayed” next time. The things I do for grammar.

  • @jelenawoehr Thanks for fighting the good fight with me! Goes to show how much work there is to be done to educate people about pet overpopulation if they don’t even know how to spell the freakin’ word, right? Glad to meet someone else who knows the difference and is calling out the offenders 😉

  • HowieSPM

    Can anyone tell me why Weird is an exception I before E? It really pisses me off.

  • The one that makes me absolutely stabby is peek, peak (or pique, in some cases). I called out a Time reporter for screwing it up here:

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM Right! I before E unless after C…and weird.

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  • cmjohns

    @ginidietrich @bdorman264 It’s y’all. 🙂

    I have to say the grammar pet peeve that drives me crazy is that nobody knows that CANNOT is ONE WORD.

  • bdorman264

    @cmjohns @ginidietrich See, I said I don’t need to get too deep on this……….y’all; ya’ll; hey you; knucklehead; I just need to get the gist of where you are taking me, I’m not looking for perfection. However, you will never see me misspell y’all again……………:). I was impressed I even remembered an apostrophe………….

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  • *kill your darlings* – Stephen King

    Some of my darlings used to manifest themselves the form of unnecessarily ridiculously addictive adverbs which I used freely and ubiquitously and sensuously and at times, illegally.

    My other darlings showed their troll-like little faces in the passive. They would be highlighted by me and I would be enchanted by them. I told them that they were not permitted. No. I told them I would not allow them. I got active. So there, little trolls.

    Then there were the ones I killed before they were born. Those ugly little *it’s* thingies that took the place of pretty *its* thingies when I would talk about *it* in the possessive. It’s a smart cookie that can separate its possessives from its contractions.

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