I’ve had a grammar post stirring in me for quite some time. I have to consciously (more on consciously later) turn part of my brain off when I read something for fun; otherwise I’m cutting the S, adding an apostrophe, chucking full sentences and losing characters that are unnecessary or annoying. Don’t get me wrong~ I know my writing isn’t perfect and I ignore some of the main writing rules~ and really, with English, there are so many exceptions, right? But for now, let’s just talk about some words that are commonly misspelled/misused.
If I let myself, I could be REALLY BOTHERED by these mistakes. Deep breaths. (More on breath later)
Let’s start with the basics…bear with me. (More on bear later)
Your is possessive~ your car, your dress, your dog
You’re is a contraction of you are~ you’re chilly, you’re going to the store. If you can say you are, throw in the apostrophe version!
Its is a possessive pronoun~ its eyes, its kitten
It’s is a contraction of it is or it has~ it’s hot, it’s been a long time. If you can say it is, throw in the apostrophe version. If you can’t, don’t!
There~ referring to a place. There are many books on my list.
Their~ a possessive adjective indicating a particular noun belongs to them, whoever they are. I dropped their book off at the front desk, wishing I could keep it.
They’re~ a contraction of they are. They’re going to knock that book off the bestseller list!
This one seems hard to get wrong, but it seems to get mistreated a lot.
Were~ past form of the verb to be. We were young and not very bright.
Where~ refers to a place. Where, oh where has my little dog gone?
Wear~ to carry or have on the body as clothing or adornment. Will you wear the blue shirt?
And now some weird ones that I keep running across…
I see loose all the time in place of lose. They’re two completely different words and both valuable in the English language. Let’s please not LOSE the value of these words.
Lose~ to misplace something; the opposite of winning, Charlie Sheen. I hate to lose my keys.
Loose~ to be free, unbound; lacking restraint. The knot was loose and threatening to break.
Peek~ to look at something quickly. Would you like to sneak a peek?
Peak~ a summit, highest point. Sadly, his intelligence peaked at age 15.
Anyway~ a word leading into casual conversation.
Anyways~ not a word, period. Enough said.
All right is correct.
Alright is not a real word, but might be gaining shady acceptance here and there. How about we don’t let that happen…
And just when we thought we had a pattern going, we hit ALREADY/ALL READY…
Already~ previously. I already ate the cookies.
All ready~ The cookies are all ready to be snarfed.
And ALTOGETHER/ALL TOGETHER
Altogether~ entirely. It was an altogether different time.
All together~ collectively. We were all together, in one mind and one accord. Hallelujah.
Bear~ a large mammal; to hold or support; to give birth to…lots of meanings. She could hardly bear to see the bear come near the child. (Bad sentence, but hey, look at that~ two meanings, same spelling.)
Bare~ lacking clothing or exposed to view. Her bare back exposed the scars. She couldn’t bear to see the bare expanse. (Oh now…mixing it up on ya!)
Breath~ a noun that most often means the air that is inhaled or exhaled. She was happy to stop and take a breath.
Breathe~ a verb relating to the action of taking in and expelling breath. Sometimes you just need to stop and breathe.
Conscious~ being aware or deliberate. I try to be conscious of the fact that not everyone feels the same as I do about words.
Conscience~ the sense of what is right and wrong. When it came to him, she had no conscience. (Yikes, girl, stay away from him!)
Threw~ past tense of throw. She threw the broken glass away, her heart breaking a little with each piece.
Through~ moving in one side and out the other. She walked through the gate and felt like a new woman.
Thru~ it’s in the dictionary, but that doesn’t mean we should use it in fancified writing. Ain’t is in some dictionaries too. Thru is an informal way of writing through. Go ahead and spell it out…unless you’re texting.
A lot~ to a large extent. She knew a lot about spiders.
Alot~ it’s anot a word, so adon’t ause it.
I was appalled to hear that irregardless is in the urban dictionary. Nooooo, say it isn’t so. This is a word that is the equivalent to nails on chalkboard for me. This might be a word that~ dare I say it~ I will…judge. And yes, it will be judging not so highly in your favor. I WILL have to speak up and say, “Please, please…don’t.”
It’s regardless. Irregardless takes away the point of saying regardless in the first place. So, just DON’T.
Sorry. I’m breathing. I’m not losing it. I’m bearing the burden so I can keep a good conscience. After all, your friendship is so important to me, regardless of the words you use. It means a lot to me that you read this blog. We can get through this hurdle.
Where were we?
Oh, so many words, so little time. What are your pet peeves with words?
*** Excellent books on writing and grammar can be found, further exposing my Geekdom…go ahead, click Geekdom, you know you want to.