Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Good Grammar, Proper Word Choice

I'm usually pretty good with my English.  My grammar is usually spot on... and I'm generally careful with getting the right word in the right place.   It is, after all, a significant part of my job.  Sometimes though, I do fall down... and I have a good friend who enjoys finding such gaffes and sent me a note the other day with a few examples from previous blog entries.  Thanks Tom ;-)

In one, I quoted the phrase from the United Church of Christ, "Don't place a period where God places a comma,"  except I misspelled comma - I wrote "Don't place a period where God places a coma."  And I did it more than once so it wasn't a simple typo.   Tom enjoyed wondering what it looked like when God put people into a prolonged unconscious state.  In another blog I said something like "illicit a response," but of course meant, "elicit a response" although an illicit response might have been entertaining.

So I've been thinking about the wrong words/poor grammar issues that make me cringe... here are a few...

Irregardless - no such word.  It is a conflation of regardless and irrespective.

There, Their, They're.  Three very different words even though they all sound the same.  Use the right one in the right place.  There = a place.  Their =  a possessive, belonging to them.  They're = a contraction of "they are."  Every time I see the wrong one in the wrong place, I can hear my 8th grade English teacher exploding.

The wrong prepositions... don't you just hate it when people confuse the usages of him/he, her/she, me/I ?

What grammar/word choices issues get under your craw?  Can you list some more?  Or write a sentence using a bunch of the ones that make you cringe?

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