I am appalled to see how so few people know correct spelling, usage, and syntax!

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people use "it's" (contraction for "it is" or "it has") when "its" (possessive of "it") was intended. The way to remember which one is correct is this: Try substituting "it is" for the word in question. If the result makes sense, put in the apostrophe. If it doesn't (e. g., "My computer lost its wi-fi connection" where "it is" makes no sense), leave out the apostrophe.

For some reason, many people have gotten the idea that a plural is formed by adding "apostrophe s" to the word. Thus, "computer's," "baby's,", "other's," "CD's," and so forth. Wrong! Usually, the plural is just "s" but of course there ar exceptions, none of which use an apostrophe.

As for ending a sentence with a preposition, yes, it's considered grammatically unacceptable, but there are exceptions, As Winston Churchill was purported to have said: "That is one rule up with which I will not put." Another more modern example is "You're [not your, which is another very common mistake] a good friend out with whom I like to hang."

Another note about prepositions: when using a preposition to refer to more than one pronoun, the prepositional case extends to all components. Thus, not "between you and I" (ick!), but "you and me"! The opposite applies when using pronouns as a subject: "Me and him went to the movies." Ewww! Didn't these people ever go to school?

Finally, the conjugation of verbs seems to have gone out the window! I constantly hear such ridiculous forms as "have did" (but "he done"!), "has drank," "has ate," a sportscaster saying "should have ran," and so forth. It grates on my ears!

Learn proper English, everyone!

NakedDriver NakedDriver
56-60, M
3 Responses Mar 9, 2010

Ignorance has become a badge to wear with pride for a great many people.

Bad grammar, "never did noth'n" to harm anyone. What's the problem?

I too have a disdain for poor grammar and punctuation. If you're going to write it, at least put some effort into it, because I think it's incredibly annoying for someone to be so lazy (to do something like ". . . for someone 2 B so lazy . . .") I think those people run in cliques. I don't have the patience for it, though. I appreciate learning about other who like good, clean writing.