I read a lot of blogs and other online publications. Most bloggers and many internet writers were not English majors. It is not a requirement to blog, which is a good thing because I am certainly not an English major myself. That doesn’t mean I don’t love the English language, though.
I am not the grammar police. I am sure that real grammar Nazis will find many mistakes in my writing. I do my best, research when necessary, and I know that I miss a lot. So if you find mistakes and need to correct them in the comments (I know I’m asking for it taking on this topic), please do it with humor and love. Thank you.
But I, like many who have a fair handle on the English language, am sometimes
pissed off annoyed by the continual misuse of some of the basics of spelling and grammar by people who should know better. Basics, as in those we learned in third grade. As in, unless you skipped third grade. So in the interest of my peace of mind, here are a few of the ones that bother me the most common errors. Again, I’m not an English pro so I’m not going to go into depth about the usage of each word, just give a little explanation and example.
There, Their, They’re
There: It is not here, it is there.
Their: It belongs to them. It is their house.
They’re: They are. They’re learning to write.
To: There are a lot of ways to use “to.” It is a versatile preposition. It can mean until, toward, reaching as far as, and many other things. Be nice to me. I’m going to the store. She is great at anything she puts her mind to. I’d love to go to Europe.
Too: Additionally, excessive, very, or extremely. I want to go to the store too. You are too much. That fire is too hot.
Your: It belongs to you. Let’s take your car.
You’re: You are. You’re starting to get this now.
I, Me, Myself
Misusing “I” and “me” is very common and it shouldn’t be because it’s not that difficult to understand. Most people remember (from third grade), that the other person’s name comes first at the beginning of a sentence in which “I” is appropriate, “Carol and I are going to the movies.” Where it seems to get confusing is when the phrase occurs at the end of the sentence, “Mike went to the movies with Carol and me.” Many writers mistakenly use “I” instead and that is incorrect. Here’s an easy way to remember: Say the sentence without the other person’s name. You wouldn’t say, “Mike went to the movies with I” would you? It sounds wrong.
As for myself, use it only when “I” and “me” don’t sound right. I’ll keep that bit of information to myself. I went to the movies by myself. You wouldn’t say “Carol and myself are going to the movies.” It just sounds awkward.
Loose: Use this if your clothes are not tight, if the lions at the zoo escaped, or you’re gathering your change to turn in. These pants are really loose. The big cats are loose!
Lose: This means that you lost something, whether it is the game, your keys, weight, or a bet.
Workout is not a verb
I’m sure it is because I read a lot of health and fitness blogs, but this mistake is so common that I see it several times a day. I even began to doubt myself. Perhaps workout is a verb? So, of course, I Googled it. My mind was eased and I learned a lot more than I needed about how to determine if a word is a verb or not. Basically, because you can’t conjugate it, it cannot be a verb. While you can say “I workout” and “you workout,” you cannot say “he workouts.” There is also a problem with past tense. You wouldn’t say “I workouted yesterday” (that, by the way, was hard to even write). You have to say, “he works out” or “I worked out yesterday.” You’ll find a lot more detail and explanation why workout is not a verb here, but the bottom line is, workout is a noun, not a verb.
So, you may have done your workout yesterday, but today you are going to work out.
Well, I don’t know if this helped you, but I sure feel better! What are your grammar gripes? And, as I stated above, hit me with my mistakes. Gently, if you please.