Wednesday, 17 July 2013

My Biggest Pet Peeve: Grammatical Errors

The other day I was listening to the radio, when Miley Cyrus' new song, "We Can't Stop," happened to come on. And me being, well... me, I listened to the lyrics intently... and had to refrain from throwing the radio out the window in frustration. I mean, come on, every now and again a singer happens to make a grammatical error in their song because it happens to rhyme better, or fits the rhythm, but since when is, "We run things, things don't run we," even REMOTELY acceptable? I mean yes, Miley, "it's your mouth; you can say what you want" but could you at least TRY to come up with another line which DOESN'T make me lose all faith in humanity?

So, yes, my inner Grammar Nazi had been activated. A quick look on Google showed that at least thirty percent of graduating students forced to take a simple English language exam failed, and were unable to be accepted into college. You don't believe me? Search "grammatical errors" on Google Images. There are literally THOUSANDS of examples of street signs, memes, and even newspaper articles abusing even the simplest of grammatical rules. And that's only the internet. Imagine the amount of errors in school essays, e-mails, job applications... People literally don't know the difference between "your" and "you're". I mean, come on, I know that my grammar is hardly at thesis level (how many times in my blogs or reviews have I started a sentence with "and" or "so" or "but"?) but honestly, if you are above the age of twelve, you should really know the difference between a possessive pronoun and an apostrophe of omission.

But seeing as people refuse to listen to the Grammar Nazis on Twitter, Facebook and the many other forms of social media which somehow ALLOW people without a simple understanding of their home language to post comments on the internet for everyone to see, I have decided to take my chances and attempt to educate at least some people in third grade English.

1. The difference between "your" and "you're"

No, sweetie pie. YOU'RE stupid to have tattooed that on YOUR hands. YOUR mother is turning in her grave right now because YOU'RE embarrassing YOURself.

You're = you are (there is an apostrophe of omission... i.e. letters have been omitted to form "you're")
Your = a possessive pronoun (i.e. to show that something belongs to you)

2. They're, their and there

*THEY'RE made from something deep inside THEIR souls because something in THERE makes them special.

They're = they are (once again, there's an apostrophe of omission... a dead giveaway that there's a verb hiding in the word somewhere)
Their = a possessive pronoun (showing that something belongs to them)
There = either an adverb (THERE is a grammatical error in your tattoo) or a pronoun (hey, THERE's that guy whose tattoo has a grammatical error in it)

3. Apostrophes DO NOT show plural forms of words

She FLIES with her own WINGS. The FLY'S WINGS were making a buzzing noise in her ear. The left WING'S engine failed.

An apostrophe can either show possession (the boy's book) or omission (we're = we are). They do NOT make it acceptable for you to just fling around your "s" and create plurals whenever you feel like it.

Usually, when a word ends in "y," the plural form ends in "ies" (e.g. fairy -> fairies).

These are by far NOT all of the grammatical errors made on the internet, but by far some of the most common ones. And unfortunately, these poor people in the images above have them permanently written on their skin... umm ouch?

Hopefully now I have prevented you from making some of these errors! Please comment below, and tell me some of YOUR pet peeves, or if you thought this blog was useful in any way.

"We Can't Stop" has literally just started playing on the radio again... I'm not even joking... Oh the delicious irony...

Please excuse me while I go send hate mail to Miley Cyrus and her songwriter…

UPDATE: I've now uploaded a Part Two due to popular demand. There is hope for the world...


  1. Ok the tattoos are bad, but for me, even worse are books that have been through publishers and editors who leave in the grammatical errors. Seriously, this shouldn't happen. Recent examples are the use of "for prosperity" instead of "for posterity" and "butt naked" instead of "buck naked". And of course the book that I am trying to finish, where the author thinks she is so clever not to use any personal pronouns, but writes about three different males in one paragraph, and says"he thinks" if you should know which he she means. Terribly annoying and pretentious.

    And then there was the unforgivable sin of using the words "actuary" and "accountant" interchangeably. But I suppose that isn't, strictly speaking, grammar!

  2. Hahaha!!! Amy I completely agree with you & I very much struggle to look at someone else's grammatical mistakes without wanting to scratch them out & fix them! But I think the problem is the people who have such errors PERMANENTLY TATTOOED on their bodies would probably have the don't-care kind of attitude of saying "Oh well..." if you pointed it out to them! Unlike those of us grammar freaks who read our emails or Facebook posts or post-it notes three times before mailing or posting them! :)

  3. I think our dislike for grammatical errors runs in the family, Amy :) Oh dear, it gets quite exhausting sometimes. Loved your post.

  4. You are so right - or should I say, you're so right!
    You need to get yourself another early birthday present - a book called "Eats shoots and leaves" by Lynne Truss. I guarantee that you will love it!

    1. Thanks so much; it looks awesome! I'll definitely try it out in the August holidays.

  5. Let's just have a round of applause for the very intelligent blogger who spelled "Grammar Nazi" as "Gramer Nazi" in her blog dissing the world about their terrible grammar on the internet... Oh wow I really need help...

    Don't bother looking for it; I corrected it, thank goodness, but I just thought I'd let you know that even we Grammar Nazis make grammatical errors.

    - Amy

  6. Hail to the grammar Nazi! You're a lot like me - a pet hate of mine (don't really like using this word - but it reflects the degree of feeling) is the confusion of the words "less" and "fewer". Another blooper contained in an advert for Doom was "Kills insects dead".
    Ann Webber (friend of your Nanna - Val)

  7. Sadly no one can ever rid the world of grammatical errors. Not even spellcheck.

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  10. I being a teacher totally agree with you. When i have to check the assignments and papers i feel the same as you do. I seriously don't know what those students learnt throughout their student life.

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