Sunday, November 1, 2009

What are your grammatical pet peeves?

I was recently commented upon (anonymously) in which it was pointed out I use parenthetical phrases too much. Which is funny since I have pointed it out myself multiple times.

It got me thinking about my own grammatical pet peeves. I would never point out these peeves to a writer, but I do have my own and I'm assuming you have your own too. I know we've discussed these here before, but let's go over them again.

~ The misuse of "loose" vs "lose". It happens so often!

~ "Angel" vs "angle". Its such a huge difference!

~ Spelling errors. I'm not talking about the random typo here and there, but when someone really can't spell a majority of words, use spell check!

~ Using the word "that" superfluously. If the sentence can still be read without the word, it doesn't need to be there. I think this is my biggest pet peeve. The word "that" sticks out when I read like a neon sign.

~ Using nonexistent words "irregardless" and "supposably". The latter makes me cringe!

"That" is my list of everything I can think of off the top of my head. What are your pet peeves?


LJ said...

Without a doubt, extraneous or misused apostrophes and quotation marks.

Homonyms like you're/your drive me batty in emails, and scare me when they come from teens, but terrify me from other seemingly educated adults. said...

your instead of you're or truely. i don't know why truely bothers me SO much. but loose is a big one of mine too.

I'm probably one of the people who uses THAT too much ;)

CanadianMama said...

I really hate when people don't use the right their/there/they're. I know it's bad but I immediately think they're stupid!
I also hate when people use an ellipsis wrong (especially if it's someone using it in place of a period or if they use more than three dots) - makes me looney.
People who don't know how to use a semi-colon; it's such an easy thing to master!
People who don't use apostrophies properly. It seems like people just want to add them in all the time; I don't get it!

What I'm bad for:
spelling. I have a disability (that I actually cannot spell the name of - how sad is that) and I cannot spell at all. I use spell check whenever I can.
Using the word "that" superfluously. I write massive reports for work and I'm always editing out a million of them!

Anyways, it would appear that I'm a bit of a grammer snob which is funny because if someone were to point out the errors I make in my writing, there would be MANY. I really should not judge...

Denise said...

Ensure versus insure. It also bugs me when people say "alls you need to do" instead of "all you need to do." What's with that extra s? Since when is "alls" a word?

Ella said...

YOUR vs. YOU'RE is my #1 - also, the difference between 'affect' and 'effect'!

I'm really bad with using too many exclamation points - even AFTER I've gone through my writing and removed many of them... yeeah, it's not good.

rocket.queen. said...

Apparently, "irregardless" is in Webster's now... maybe it always was? *shrug* My HS English teacher was a nazi about us never using it and I just follow in her footsteps. And honestly, "bootylicious" is in Webster's too... so it seems like the dictionary has become a joke. Sort of like the Nobel Peace Prize these days.

I use the ellipsis wrong a lot, but it's sorta become my writing style now. But at least I only put 3 ... I can't stand when people put "..........."

oooh, and I hate when people say "piece of mind" instead of "peace of mind" and when they say their "peace" instead of "piece". I guess I see the confusion if you have never read a fucking book higher than 3rd grade level.

And grammatically, I hate when people don't use past participle. My MIL is hugely guilty, and sadly it is a regional Long Islander thing because I catch DH doing it when he is mad or flustered. "I could have went to the store..." UGH! It makes me cringe. COULD HAVE GONE!

areyoukiddingme said...

All of the above!!!!

My husband says supposably all the time. I want to smack him every time he says it, but I would probably never stop smacking him.

Also, definitely. There is no a in definitely.

I have seen the lose/loose thing so frequently that I had to stop and check to make sure I was using the correct form the other day.

zach05kate95 said...

I had a professor who would give us F's on our papers if you used the word that.Maybe you had him too?

Steph O. said...

Oddly enough, I've always liked your parenthetical (how's that for a made up word?) writing syle. I probably over use them too & I know I'm an elipsis user! People who know me IRL though, say that I write & type the way I talk. Poor DH was the first guy I dated to who could keep up with the conversation when mom, sis & I get going.

I agree w/PP's; especially on the homonyms. Yes they SOUND the same, but think about what you're really saying!

My biggest peeve is using of instead of have. "I could of, should of, would of". Maybe I'm getting old, but reading most message threads makes me wonder what (if anything) they're teaching kids these days!

Anonymous said...

Um, I am a horrid speller. You might just be talking about me. :) Too bad the comment section does not have a spell check!! I am so excited that my blackberry now has spell check on facebook status and twitter updates. :)

I am also "that" kinda girl. I am a product of backwoods Alabama...I have to give props to my roots. :)

joyous melancholy said...

Its/it's, your/you're, there/they're/their, etc. "Should/would/could of" instead of "should/would/could have," that happens a lot. I really hate it when people use an apostrophe to pluralize - apostrophes are mostly used for possessives, people! It isn't CD's it's CDs. It isn't 1980's, it's 1980s. Or '80s. "I'll take the ones on the right," not "the one's on the right."

I don't know the correct terminology for it, but my biggest pet peeve is when people use the wrong for of me/I, him/he, etc. Example: "She gave that to he and I." No she didn't. She gave it to him, and she gave it to me, therefore she gave it to him and me. He and I can receive it, but she can't give it to he and I. This common mistake drives me insane like nothing else. It's in songs, documents, everyday conversation. Argh!

Aren't you glad you asked? ;-)

Anonymous said...

My personal pet peave is PEoPle ThaT TYpe ThINgs IN ALL cAPs oR AlTerNAtiNg**~ Ugh. I am an exclamation poing addict. I guess it all equals out in the end for me.

Anonymous said...

People who use the phrase "could of" or "would of"... the correct way being "could have" or "would have."

There is no greater frustration than reading "I wish I would of known this" or something of similar grammatical error. You tend to do it a lot, by the way, Nancy.

Anonymous said...

Definitley your or you're, as well as there and their, and stationery vs stationary...

I also get antsy when people don't use the "Nancy and Me" and "Nancy and I" correctly...


Robin said...

I hate when people make up words by crossing two words together. Like "flustrated".

Another one of my big pet peeves (because of living in the South) is the pronounciation of certain words. My husband's family all pronounce "across" like it says "acrossed". I can't stand it!! It makes them sound like hillbillies to me that can't speak right! I'm sure the spell it right but that pronounciation makes me crazy every time I hear it!

Krista said...

I also hate loose vs lose, affect vs. effect, hear vs. here....etc. Those really bother me.

I know I'm probably guilty of using punctuation incorrectly, which has to be a pet peeve of some people. I tend not to pay much attention to it unless it is a business communication.

nikkobaby said...

My biggest ones are "whether or not" and "enter into" (as if you can enter out of something).

edenland said...

I abhor bad spelling, so don't get me started.

You know what saying I hate the most? I'm not sure if you guys say it up there ...

"It's all good."

No, no it's not all good. Nothing is ever all good! Sometimes, IT'S ALL FUCKED.

It gets used so often lately.

Also, what's with the anonymous nitpickers? Who gives a fuck? I
~love~ how you write. XO

Ruth said...

I never noticed that you used too many parentheses! Actually, I think your blog is one of the least grammatically annoying of the ones I read.

Biggest pet peeve? Misuse of apostrophes, people who don't know the difference between "affect" and "effect", and misspelling of the word "definitely" - it drives me nuts to see "definately" or the worst, "defiantly"! Ugh! Bad spelling is annoying too, but I know many people can't help that one.

DD said...

My biggest peeve is the misuse of acronyms. For instance, when people say "PIN number" I get shivers. The N in PIN stands for number. It's not a personal identification number number. Same thing when people say ATM machine. Ugh!!! It's stupid, but it bugs me.

Jendeis said...

I am so with you! Loose and lose! Argh!

Incidentally, I am also an overuser of both parentheticals and exclamation points (and maybe smileys).

In reading through the comments, I also need to jump on the affect/effect misuse-hating zamboni.

Sarah R said...

Oh jeez...there are so many.

You did hit one of them on the head: "loose" vs. "lose". I can't tell you how many people talk about "loosing" weight.

-There, their, and they're. This is a common one!

Their cat was over there. They're going over to get him. :)

-Are and our (seriously? I hope I don't have to explain the difference).

-Too, to, and two (I think the most common thing people do is they say, "me to"). It really grates on my eyes!

-When people say "must of". It's not "of"; it is "have", as in, "I must have forgotten how that sentence goes".

-Affect and effect. Just remember that affect is generally the verb and effect is generally a noun. "It has that effect on me" is correct, as is, "It really affects me". Makes perfect sense, right?

-The phrase, "could care less" is incorrect. If you really don't care about something, you need to say, "I couldn't care less about that asshole". Just think about it.

-"Then" vs. "than" get mixed up a lot. You may say, "I was a lot younger then" or "I was older than you". Both are correct, but please do not incorrectly interchange them!

-"Your" vs. "you're" has to be one of the biggest blunders. Just remember that "you're" is a contraction for "you are" and hopefully when you're writing a sentence, you don't interchange "your".

-This is pregnancy related, but I hate when people say "dialated". It's not "DIAL", it's "dilated".

-Gestational sac, not "sack". C'mon! LOL!

-"Over to". For some reason my mother-in-law will say she was "over to the store". OMG, drives me nuts!

mommybird said...

Pretty much all of the above, even though I make countless mistakes when I'm writing too. Oh well, I'm a hypocrite what can I say. :)

It really bothers me when people don't capitalize things correctly. The first letter in a sentence has a capital letter. When "I" stands alone, it's always capital.

In speech it drives me absolutely crazy when people don't pronounce things correctly. Particularly where I live the word creek is always pronounced "crick". That drives me absolutely crazy!

Sarah R said...

Oh yeah, also when people unnecessarily pluralize stuff or put apostrophes where there shouldn't be apostrophes.

For example: "donut's". Um no. The donuts don't OWN anything so don't make it possessive or a contraction.

nancy said...

Wow. If I would of known this, I could of stopped doing it. Thanks "anonymous"! I wish you would have left your name so I could of thanked you by name!

(Yes, I did the "could of/would of" on purpose.)

Kristin said...

Mine is misused apostrophes. I saw a sign in the grocery store the other day: "Pie's $5.00." ARGH!

Julie said...

CONVERSATE is NOT a word. It drives me nuts when I hear this. The actual word is converse. I hear it all the time from people who really should know better.

akaiser said...

The one that annoys me the most by far is to/too. When people tell me my kids are "to cute" I want to scream!!! I don't know why but that one annoys me the most!
Your/you're is also up there, followed by their/they're/there. Those would be my top 3!

Mareike said...

There is a reason that most writers have editors. When one writes for a living that person should be a stickler for correct grammar and spelling.
In general I'd rather people freely express their thoughts and not fret over punctuation and spelling. The goal is communication and if you have gotten your point across I'd suggest you have done a fine job.
I used to be bugged by the ways in which other people pronounced certain words. One example is the words Mary, marry and merry. I know many people who pronounce them all the way I pronounce Mary. For me these words each have a different pronunciation.
With the name Mareike (pronounced Marayka) I can't afford to be bothered by other people's pronunciation.
The only time I might be peeved by someone else's errors would be if that person sent an error laden message calling me out on mine.

Okay folks; get out your red pencils and send my message back to me pointing out my mistakes. I imagine there are some.

The Bonds Family said...

I agree with ALL of the above!!

I use ellipsis way too much I think, and thanks to you, I noticed my over-use of the word THAT!

MrsSpock said...

There/their, "they was", to/too, your/you're.

I totally cop to using too many ellipses in my comments...;)

Sarah R said...

Mareike: thank you for telling us the pronunciation of your name; I was never sure (although I think I was close).

As for Mary, merry, and marry, that may have to do with a person's accent. Here in Wisconsin, they are all pronounced the same. Also, the word "bag" rhymes with "vague" for us, and I'm told that elsewhere in the country, this is not the norm. :)

Tara said...

Ha ha... You've mentioned the "that" thing before and now for some reason everytime I write a post I'm consious of not overusing "that"...

Kristin said...

Just go read Eat, Shoots and Leaves. It is a darned good book and pretty much covers all my pet peeves.

elephantscanremember said...

I am a grammar nerd. I have this site in my blog roll.

I cannot stand to see "its" when it should be "it's", or vice versa. They're called contractions, people! Use your noggin! There's even more that drives me nuts.

Also, I cannot stand to see a post on a forum or wherever that has no punctutation at all. It's all one extremely long run-on sentence, incoherent at best. It hurts my brain.

(I use parentheses too often as well as exclamation marks!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy,

I'm a long time reader, but have never commented. This one caught my eye, though.

My favourite pet peeve - breath/breathe.
I almost wish that there was no spell check anywhere, so that books would actually get proof-read!
BTW - I think you're fantastic - schnarky and otherwise.

Kate said...

your for you're.... drives me nuts!

the mol said...

I am probably the biggest grammar snob you'll ever meet.

If someone misspells something or chooses the wrong homophone (you're/your; they're/there/their), I pretty much assume that they aren't that intelligent. I correct my husband's spelling and grammar for him; he's pretty good but occasionally makes some mistakes.

When I write in my blog, sometimes I write like I talk, meaning I will occasionally use incomplete sentences. Feel free to rail on me for that :).

When reading ads for babysitters online, the only one I contacted was the one whose ad had correct grammar and spelling.

Christina said...

The big one I saw the other day in an e-mail from my SIL was that she spelled enough "enuf". Come on! Did she really think it was spelled enuf???

Kirsten said...

Being from Texas, I have to go with the one I see ALLLLL the time and it drives me insane...ya'll. Every time I see that I want to ask the person why they think the apostrophe should go there when the two words are YOU ALL so it's y'all. Now, I know it's not technically a word but we use it alot here so I just wish people would get it right!!!!!
Another one is when people say/type "ideal" instead of idea. I have a friend that constantly says this and thought it was just her but I have heard quite a few others say it, too.
And, I pretty much agree with every other comment left here :)

Amy C said...

Ah!!!! My peeve is "supposably"!! It's supposedly, people!!!

Emmie :) said...

helllloooooo!!! i teach 7th grade english!!! i could go on for days! haha! clearly, my pet peeve is NOT using the 'shift' key correctly. mostly, i c-ringe when people say "q-pon" instead of "cou-pon". or "car-mel" instead of "car-a-mel". arg. and the obvious; there, their, they're; your, you're. arg.

Photogrl said...

I don't really understand why people feel the need to critique styles of writing...such as using caps, quotations, parenthetical phrases, etc. I'd never point it out to someone...but, hey whatever.

Your vs. You're bothers me, but it won't keep me from reading.

I know I use caps and ... WAY too often ;)

Not in the Water said...

I agree with your loose and lose, they're/there/their, your/you're. The common ones.

I have a huge issue with the "apostrophe s" to pluralize words. A lot of people from my DH's hometown do it. And what's scary is that they went to college!

So on our shopping list it might say, pea's and carrot's. His sister will send a note stating, "We're getting the kid's picture's taken."



Robin said...

Me again. There's an award for you on my blog... ;)

jenn said...

Wow- so many good ones here! I am guilty of a ton of grammatical errors in my blog- but I just write without stopping for anything but the worst offenses. I can't even be bothered to capitalize! ;o)

My annoyances are pretty much with pronunciation- I live in an area where people say 'chaclate' and 'yous'. Really? It's just so trashy sounding! And the hub's family is all from the Massachusets area & somehow he developed a heavy accent for words like 'park' & 'car'. He is also guilty of making up words completely, I think it is solely to annoy me sometimes!

Geochick said...

haha! I feel like I have to go edit all my posts now for "that's" and quotation marks. Mine are pretty much standard, misusing similar words like "their and there".

Birdee said...


I love using nonexistent words, like nuther, example: "which is a whole nuther story". Don’t ask me why, you'd think it'd bother me since I hate it when my friends use heavy text jargon "c u later".

It bugs me when a friend of mine says "Flusterated" instead of "Frusterated" (See, I'm a hypocrite, I can do it but it bugs me when other's do it)

I get inappropriately fancy with my writing though, I hate feeling I need to be so correct all the time when correct doesn’t match the mood or tone of what I'm writing. Like when I get excited and feel jumpy and crazy, I'll mix capitalize my words. "Im sO fReAkInG eXcItEd FoR yOu!!"
I thinks it's pretty obvious when I'm intentionally misspelling and adding too many grammicatical errors, and when when I simply don't know, and I do appreciate when friends teach me proper ways to spell - talk - write (etc). Lord know's it's not my strong point.

Sherri said...

mines for mine
hugh for huge