05 December 2008

Correct English Grammar

It absolutely pains me to hear or read someone giving a well researched presentation of facts make a blunder with grammar. I'm usually listening or reading intently and then BOOM "your's".

"That's not a word," I think, "that's a silly mistake for someone to make that's making an educated argument. How much can I believe anything this person says if I can prove that s/he doesn't know how to use the language?"

Now I don't care what they're saying. I'll try to read the rest of the article or listen to the presentation, but it will happen again and will grate on me. It's all I can think about for at least 5 seconds afterwards and now I've lost the thread of the story. I've gotta go back and reread if it's an article, or just try to pick back up if it's public speaking.

I'm going to post some common mistakes here, just hoping that someone will read it and improve their grammar. Correct spelling and grammar will never hurt you in a professional situation.

1) it's: This means "it is" not "its" which is the possessive of "it."

2) your: This is the possessive of "you." This is not the same as the contraction of "you" and "are," "you're."

3) an: This is a different word from "and." This made reading a bit of history about the "Baghdad Battery" nearly impossible to read.

4) apostrophes: These don't allow you to make a plural. Generally the letter "s" does this for you, all by itself. If you're not sure, look it up!

5) quotation marks: These don't add emphasis. They are used to say that something is not necessarily genuinely as it seems.

6) exclamation points: These do all the emphasizing they need to with just one. Adding more doesn't change anything, but it makes you look like either a dolt or a hyperactive child.

7) question marks: Only one of these is needed to get the job done. When you have three, does it mean you're trying to ask the question three times? That doesn't make sense.

8) ellipses/... : These are formed by putting three periods in a row. Not four, nor two, nor as many will get you all the way across the screen.

I know I'm missing something here. Have anything to add to this list?


Manda said...

9) There is not they're is not their. Just because they all sound the same does not mean you can use them interchangeably.

I know, I hate bad grammar in professional articles. Yahoo News does this all the time, I feel like I just tripped over a rock whenever I see a mistake like this. It completely breaks the flow of the piece and leaves me wondering if it was edited or verified at all before being thrown up on my screen.

Ashish said...

To bad this guy did not read your blog