As many of you know, my second major was in English. While I focused on the creative writing and literature aspects, my grammatical education wasn’t completely neglected. But the little written mistakes that are like fingernails on a chalkboard to me are so elementary….in fact, these concepts were taught in public elementary school, as I recall.

I see this one a lot in escort ads: “I’m a Sophisticated, Elegant, Lady of Distinction.” She may be distinguished but her education and editing skills are lacking. I know I’m being a little bit catty but if I were about to spend hundreds of dollars just for the pleasure of making a new acquaintance, I’d want one with at least functional literacy. (I’m picky.) Ladies, if it’s not a proper name there is no reason for a capital.

Then there’s rampant misspelling of words, and not just in the escort community. It seems people believe that “extreme” is actually “xtreme” or even “xtreem”. Many people confuse the word “sight” (as in vision) with “site” (as in place). There’s the ever-popular “their” for “they’re”. And, oh yes, “foto” for “photo”.

My biggest loathing concerns the misuse of the old ‘apostrophe s’. It seems no one remembers that long ago lesson in plurals and possessives. I’ve seen this error on billboards, no less. Folks, if it’s a plural, in most cases all you have to do is add an “s”. Save the apostrophe for “it is” or “it owns”. Don’t ask me why this error makes me rabid, save for the fact that it’s the simplest rule to remember and yet the most common and widespread of any grammatical errors I’ve noticed.

There’s a lot more I could rant about, including a huge array of syntax problems. I think these three biggies will do for now.

I’m certainly not perfect, even though I edit obsessively. I’m capable of creating convoluted sentences worthy of Yoda. For some reason, I put the word “just” in almost every sentence. I just don’t get the sloppiness behind these very simple errors and why no one seems to see a problem with putting out work (with their name on it), that is so obviously substandard. It’s to the point that in another 10 years, anyone who can write a proper sentence will be able to command high fees for their writing ability. (Yes, I can hope!)

4 thoughts on “Pet Peeves of the Written Variety

  1. I’ll bet you the one you’ll see more often than not will be “your” instead of “you’re”. This one is VERY hard for people. I’ve taken to not even correcting it anymore. (I was going to end this by saying “Its irritating!”, purposely leaving out a necessary apostrophe but if you didn’t get it I was afraid you might go rabid on me.) lol.

  2. Ha ha! I’m certain I make grammatical errors all the time, so I shouldn’t judge. However, when I was an executive assistant I was amazed at how many simple spelling and grammar errors these powerful and well-educated people made. It made me start listening to a podcast called Grammar Girl while I jogged. It’s a really fun podcast to check out, as fun as grammar can get anyway. Perhaps it will pay off for me.

  3. Anna — Re-reading this post makes me cringe because it’s filled with errors! I’ve heard of the Grammar Girl podcast but the blog I’m loving is: http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com/

    It is amazing how many executives haven’t mastered basic English (or for that matter, have the ability to successfully book a hotel room).

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