Books Magazine

5 Terribly Annoying Grammar Mistakes

By Robert Bruce @robertbruce76

I used to edit a lot more than I do these days. Thankfully, better editors were hired for the job and I was allowed to focus on what I enjoy more—writing.

But I still know just enough about editing to be dangerous. And I also know just enough to have an opinion about some of the more annoying grammatical errors that pop up all over the place these days, especially on social media.

So here’s my take on some of the worst recurring grammatical errors.

Your vs. You’re

Incorrect Example: “Your such an idiot! I bet you don’t know how to tie you’re shoes!”

To sign up for Twitter, I swear you must have to prove that you don’t know how to use the word “you’re” correctly. Because 75% of the folks on Twitter just have no clue on this distinction. It’s so easy to remember, though. Are you trying to write “you are?” Then “you’re” is your word.

The Plural Apostrophe

Incorrect Example: “I love visiting with the Johnson’s. They have so many good book’s.”

This one is like a shot of Gilbert Gottfried’s voice to my eyes. Few things are uglier than a misused apostrophe. You rarely need to use an apostrophe to form the plural, especially for basic examples like the above. Die, apostrophe, die!

Loose vs. Lose

Incorrect Example: “If he doesn’t stop it with these grammar posts, I will loose my mind!”

NO! Your mind will loosen? What a horrible consequence of my benign ramblings about words and things. I promise to stop with the grammar posts, then. We can’t have that.

That vs Who

Incorrect Example: “The one that got away.” –Katy Perry

Unless you’re talking about a kitchen chair, Katy Perry—and I guess you very well could be—then it’s “who”! The one WHO got away. He’s a person, not a THAT.

Misuse of Literally

Incorrect example: “If he doesn’t stop it with these grammar posts, I will LITERALLY LOOSE my mind.”

OH NO! Will your mind unravel from your head, wander down the street, and hide behind a bush? How will you ever find your mind once it runs away? Shall we issue an Amber Alert for your hypothalamus? More on this word here. 

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, Don’t be such a Grammar Geek, Robert.

And, yeah, I get that nerdy grammar people can be, well, nerdy and overbearing. But, come on, this is basic stuff here. If you’re defending a misspelling of “loose,” you might as well say it makes perfect sense to run a marathon on your hands. Terrible analogy, I know.

Anyway, this is just the tip of the clichéd iceberg. Books have been written on these things. Can you imagine…books on grammar?

Do share your favorite grammar mishaps, and let’s yell at each other in the comments section.

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