My first, and constant love, is reading. I read everything and anything.
With the advent of blogs, I have more reading material. I love spending time on blogs and I am usually attracted to columns with at least 20 comments. The diverse opinions on equally diverse topics show multiple thought streams with real gems embedded within regular thought forms.
From thought provoking comments to gut-busting knee slappers right down to hair tearing mediocrity, you are sure to find it all. There are some commentators who have a way of provoking deep thoughts just by their straight talking common sense and empathy while some will push you towards atheism by their holier than thou non understanding of theirs and everybody else’s religion. I am sure we will all agree on the fact that the comment section is usually as entertaining (if not more) as the article itself and filled with knowledge too.
At other times, the state of the written English (as it appears in the comment section and sometimes in articles) threaten to destroy my love for the written word. Without further ado, ladies & gentlemen, please find below some recurrent offenders in the ploy to destroy my first and constant love.
Oh, and please do not come up with the English is not my father’s language excuse. Unless, you didn’t attend primary and secondary school (in which case you are completely allowed to comment in your language and we will hopefully get translators, you are also allowed to comment in pidgin English. Everybody is) you were taught the basics of English grammar, so no excuses. Now let’s go!
Severally as used in this example “I tried calling you severally”. The level of irritation and upset this provokes in me is totally irrational, I can never read through it and not feel like strangling the perpetrator (yes, same level as a crime for me, what can I say, I feel the same about fingernails on blackboards, I still haven’t found a rational reason for that either). I think the most upsetting is when it shows up in an official/professional mail, how do you expect to be taken seriously if your written English is ……..?
Severally means : separately, individually, or distinctly
Your and You’re,
These two words cannot be used interchangeably. You’re stands for “you are” as in the following example ” you’re a good friend”. “Your” indicates ownership: your hair is long, your outfit is cool
To make this easy: use “you’re” when describing someone else and use “your” when talking about ownership of something.
Buh in place of But
Try as I might, I still don’t understand the logic behind this one. Is it easier to type a “H” (or is it an “H”, I don’t pretend to know it all so please correct me on the appropriate usage) than it is to type a “T”? It is still 3 letters long, so I don’t think there is a time saving logic hidden within. Please guys, help a sister out on this one.
Yhu in place of You
Same comment as above. Totally incomprehensible to me or I have probably become radically “uncool”. Do let me know.
Information is an uncountable word, so it does not have a plural form. No matter the amount of information, please drop the “s”
See information above. This is one of my pet peeves. The only time stuff carries an “s” is when it is used as verb. Example: “he stuffs the turkey”. As a noun “give me my stuff”. No s, please.
This is a strong contender for the “most annoying of all time” award. At first I thought it must be an error, but with regular appearances, I had to come to the heartbreaking conclusion that it wasn’t. It was a deliberate act of sabotage. For our offenders, do not be angry. It is “Thumbs up” and not “Thumps up”. What is a thump? How are you upping your ‘thump’? Doesn’t make sense right? I agree, too.
I’m, Am, I am, I’m am (and all its variations.)
I really can’t go into it right now as there will not be enough space for this write up. Just know that there are only two options I am or I’m. This is elementary level grammar so I will quickly move on.
Flare and Flair
Not the same word, not the same meaning and definitely not interchangeable.
Definition of Flare : a gradual widening in shape, especially towards the hem of a garment (example a flared skirt) or a sudden brief burst of bright flame or light (example the flare of the match).
Definition of Flair : a special or instinctive aptitude or ability for doing something well (example she has a flair for languages) and no you cannot say you have “a flair for somebody”, note to boys who are trying to use this as a pick up line.
Cause and Course
This has the same problem as above. The words are not interchangeable. Sorry, typing definitions is getting tedious and boring. Please use Google. It is free.
Thought and Taught
One is the past tense of ‘Think’ (contrary to some of our American brethren who say, “Thunk”) and the other is the past tense of ‘Teach’ Elementary grammar again.
Impact and Impart
Major pet peeve. To prevent a long 16 page rant explaining what I think should be done to people who interchange these words, I will leave you to look up the meaning of these words (for those who don’t know it, of course” ) Try not to replace one for the other.
Piece and Peace
Example: “peace of mind”, “piece of meat”. It can also be “I will give you a piece of my mind” so I understand why this can be confusing. Okay, we will give this one a pass.
Where and were: Just Google.
This and These: One is singular, the other one is plural.
Worse and Worst
Example: “From bad to worse” signifying progression and also used for comparison. Not “from bad to worst” “she is worse than…” or “she is the worst”. If this is not very clear, then please compare ‘good’ ‘better’ ‘best’ or something.
Knees and Kneels
You get on your knees to pray and kneel down to greet. Just for the record, your ‘niece’ is not a body part.
Sit and Seat
One is a verb and the other is a noun. Although, the noun can also be used as a verb. I leave you to decipher that one. Nobody said English wasn’t confusing.
There are several other words and errors in usage that are systematically being used to attack the sensibilities of unsuspecting readers like me. If you have any, please share them with us in the comment section and help us do better.
This write up does not include the incomprehensible text language that is currently in use, example ” ah dnt fink ah lyk ow u laff ayt”. I freely admit defeat, this is beyond my capacity to understand, so how can I criticize what I don’t understand?
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