The Ebony Quill

Thoughts, reflections, and whimsies as I experience life

Grammar Rant

All right guys, get ready for a rant:  I’ve noticed for a while now the prolific disregard for grammar that abounds on social networking sites, particularly on Facebook.  Whenever I see a sentence or phrase that is grammatically incorrect, my eyes burn painfully or I grit my teeth angrily.  Now, you may call me what you wish—Grammar Nazi, crazy nerd-girl, whatever—and argue that the way one writes on social networking sites does not reflect the way one writes in real life, etc.  Sure, you may be right and I may be overreacting, but I have my reasons.  Consider the number of times you frequent Facebook or Twitter throughout the day and amount of time that you spend there.  If you repeatedly use, for example, “their” where you should have written “there,” don’t you think that this mistake will eventually affect your everyday writing?  And, sure, when you type using Microsoft Word, it can catch most grammatical mistakes, but what about when you have to write an e-mail?  What if *gasp* you have to hand-write a letter?  Imagine receiving a thank-you note after attending a birthday party that says “thank you for you’re present.”  Gosh, I think I would faint.

So, to spare me some tears every time I go on Facebook, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 most irritating grammatical errors I see on Facebook and other social media sites as well as in text messages (yes, I am that person who texts in complete sentences).  I have also provided examples of the proper uses of the words.

5. Their, there, and they’re:

  • “Their” shows possession.  For example, “this is their dog.”
  • “There” refers to an abstract or real location: “the car is over there.
  • “They’re” is a contraction which really stands for “they are.”  For instance, “they’re coming over for dinner tomorrow.”

4. Your and you’re:

  • “Your” shows possession.  For instance, “Where are your keys?”
  • “You’re” is a contraction for “you are.”  You’re the best blogger ever!

3. Supposed to, used to, and a lot: I really get upset when I see “suppose to” or “use to.”

  • Supposed to: I was supposed to do my homework yesterday, but I forgot.
  • Used to: We used to own a Ferrari, but then a tree fell on it.
  • A lot:  There are a lot of ways to improve your vocabulary, such as by reading.  A lot.

2. I vs. me: This one is actually kind of funny.  I believe that people think that “and me” does not sound educated or sophisticated, so they just substitute “and I” instead.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but “and I” is not always correct.  Observe:

  • My friends and I enjoy watching horror films.  Right, but…
  • This car belongs to Mary Lou and me, not “Mary Lou and I.”

The trick?  Remove “and XYZ”/”XYZ and” from the sentence and see if it still makes sense.  For example, “Susie and me went to the bakery” becomes “Me went to the bakery,” whereas “Susie and I went to the bakery” becomes “I went to the bakery.”  The latter still makes sense.

1. And my number one pet peeve: all right vs. alright, all ready vs. already

  • Okay, “alright” isn’t even standardized.  The proper words are “all right,” the definition of which is “satisfactory, in good condition.”  For example, “I’m doing all right,” or “this meal is all right.”
  • All ready:  The horses are all ready to race.
  • Already:  He is already done with dinner.

We can bring it all together and say “I am already all ready; is that all right?” Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? 

End Rant.

Please forgive me for any mistakes or ambiguities; I am not a grammatician by any stretch of the word.

Now, who’s ready to join hands with me for a revolution for grammatically correct Facebook messages?  Anyone?  What are your top spelling/grammar-related pet peeves?

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