Grrrrr! Seriously, though - I know I don't have perfect grammar. I don't claim to be the most eloquent of speakers, however, I do make an effort to observe at least somewhat reasonable grammar and speech patterns. I must say, I am quite easily driven to insanity by poor grammar. Really. It's sad, I'm aware, but nonetheless, it is, indeed, the truth.
Here are my top 10 Grammar Pet Peeves.
10. Ain't. Honestly, this one isn't THAT bad, it's just an obnoxious word in general. I don't like it. It's occasionally useful for making a strong point or mocking former presidents, but other than that, I really don't see why we need it.
Bad: I ain't going to the party.
Good: I am not going to the party. (Doesn't that just feel better?)
9. Where is it at? Umm.....can we say dangling preposition, much? *Insert eye roll here.* It's not as common here in Mass, but it was unavoidable when I lived in Oklahoma!
Bad: Where is the party at?
Good: Where is the party? (Look! This one even takes less effort! That's a good thing!)
8. Fix'n To. Yes, I just typed that using the spelling with which it is most often pronounced. The thing with this one is really rather simple. When this statement is used, it seems that nobody is ever fixing anything. For that matter, nothing seems to be broken! (More on that broken thing later!)
Bad: I'm fix'n to go out tonight.
Good: I'm planning on going out tonight. I'm going out tonight. Either of these two options will work.
7. The misuse of the word 'Irony.' This is a new one for me, but it is quite noticeable as of late. Many people misuse 'irony' when the word they are looking for is actually 'coincidence.'
Bad: A death row pardon two minutes too late is a coincidence. And a bad one at that.
Good: When the warden picked up the phone to answer the pardoning call from the Governor the phone caused an electrical short that triggered the electric chair, causing the death to occur as the pardon was being made, and more specifically, caused BY the pardon itself. THAT, my friends, is ironic.
6. Mixing up They're, There, and Their. It's really not that hard, folks!
Bad: Their coming for dinner this evening. (That just hurts to type.)
Good: They're my friends. (They're = They are)
I left my jacket back there. (There = a location)
These cupcakes are theirs. (Their = the possessive case of 'they')
5. Their(s) used in reference to a single individual. Being that, as stated above, 'their' is the possessive case of 'they' it cannot be used in reference to a single individual. The same can be said for 'they.' These are both indicitative of a plural, therefore, must be used in reference to groups of two or more.
Bad: That person said that they will bring their radio to the crop.
Good: She said that she will bring her radio to the crop. (If gender is unknown 'he' can be used or 'one' may also be chosen.)
4. Perfect Grammar Users. Yup. I'm serious. While I'm a stickler for reasonable grammar, I also believe in using the language in a way that makes sense to people. It's just annoying when people are overly perfect in their speech, making it almost like Old English or something. Loosen up a bit!
3. The me/I issue. You know, when people use 'I' all the time and never actually use me even if it is the correct word to use! Drives me nuts!
Bad: My mother gave beautiful gifts to both my sister and I.
Good: My mother gave beautiful gifts to both my sister and me.
Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you WHY! You would never say, "My mother gave a beautiful gift to I." That just sounds dumb. That's because 'me' actually belongs in this sentence. Adding the second antecedent does not change that rule.
2. Broke/Broken. Seriously. This one is one of those nerve grating ones that makes me want to rudely correct people. I try to avoid it, but sometimes I can't help it. Sorry.
Bad: This computer is broke.
Good: This computer is broken.
Good: I am broke.
I don't believe the speaker intended to tell me that the computer has run out of money.
1. Seen. OH MY GOODNESS. This word is used incorrectly so often and it actually HURTS my ears. For real. It's painful to me.
Bad: I seen that movie.
Good: I HAVE seen that movie.
Good: I SAW that movie.
Seen should never be used without HAVE before it! Period. Crazy, I tell ya! It actually made me shudder just to type that bad example!
So...what are your grammar pet peeves? I have more, but I decided to stick to ten today! LOL!