Monday, June 25, 2012

On Grammar

As many of you who know me know, I am a bit of a perfectionist (it's my star-sign, I tell you). Not that I am not guilty of making misteaks myself (oops?). I confess, I have to make mistakes, or else my true identity as a perfect alien would be revealed, and one of the first things I learnt when I beamed down to this planet Earth was that it is human to err.

However, that does not stop me from pointing and laughing at those mistakes people do make.
(Not that I really do, they tend to just make me shake my head and cringe.)

These are several of those grammatical bloopers that really give me neck exercise:




Spelling 

Your vs. You're

"Your so mean to me!" She typed out in protest.

"You fool, it's you're!" I rolled my eyes.

"NO, YOUR MEAN TO ME. I AM SO NICE"

"You're!"

"No I'm not!"

"You're as in YOU ARE."

"I'm not!"

"YOU'RE really in over YOUR head, aren't you" I sighed.

You're: Contraction of  "you are" (the apostrophe replaces the 'a').
Your: Belonging to or associated with the person or people that the speaker is addressing: "What is your name?".

Quite vs. Quiet

"Your so quite today."

"I'm quite what? And it's you're!"

"Am not quite."

"Quite what?"

"I mean to say, why are you not talking..."

"Oh, quiet."

"Yes, that's what I said?"

"No you misspelled it."

"Oh... thanks. Your quiet nice."

*facepalm*



Quite: Absolutely; completely: "You are quite nice!"

Quiet: (Making) little or no noise. Still. "You are very quiet today."


Loose vs. Lose

"You looser!"

"Loser."

"I called you that first! You can't think of anything just because you loosed!"

"Lost."

"Whatever. Watch, I will never loose like you!"

"So...you're tight?"

"Huh?"


Lose: opposite of win.

Loose: opposite of tight.



Weird vs. Wierd

Considering wierd is not even a word, this is just wrong.

You've heard the "I before e, except after c" rule right? It's not true for all cases (especially when it's an "ay" sounding word, like neighbour), but the best way to remember it in this case, is that weird is just weird, so it doesn't follow the rule.



Punctuation

These aren't so obvious as the bad spelling. Most often bad punctuation just stems from not knowing better. I've got two friends who make a deal about punctuation. Nerdyy asserts that his beloved math teacher taught him that "Punctuation maketh a man, no punctuation maketh a mouse." Another friend, who we refer to as the Punctuation Baba, demands that song lyrics be 'typed out' (i.e. 'sung') with proper punctuation. (Go figure.)

Space before question mark/exclamation mark/other punctuation mark

I've always wondered why people put spaces before their punctuation mark. Not that I've actually been taught to do it one way or the other (or, maybe I have, and I simply do not recall), but as far as I know there was never a need for these spaces. So I looked it up and this is what my darling Wiki told me:

Some writers put a space between the end of their sentence and the question mark. This is thought to come from a French practice and is called French spacing. In French a space is always put before question marks, exclamation marks, colons, and semicolons. In English, however, using this space is thought of as bad form. The Oxford English Dictionary does not encourage it. 

No space after comma/period/punctuation mark

This is another of those that also make me feel uncomfortable just seeing, because it feels disorganized. I always think of sentences as one frame of thought, and these thoughts are either separated by period (full stop) or joined with a comma. And these thoughts just as you think them, need the proper pauses. Hence the space (and pertinent punctuation).  So again, I looked this up:
Wiki Answers :
Q: How much times do you space after a comma?
A: After each and every comma there should be a single space.The same as with fullstops, colons and semicolons.
(Not to mention, the bad grammar in the Q, with 'how much times' vs. 'how many'. If it's a countable quantity, use "many".)


Apostrophe Catastrophe: "Plural's" 

I am sure whoever is guilty of making this mistake is just as guilty of skipping the grammar class that taught this simple rule.

You would think that people would know better, but it's (contraction of "it is") amazing to see the number of signs (not sign's) you would encounter that actually have plurals with apostrophes.

In looking up material relevant to this case, I found this awesome site that directly addresses this problem: http://www.apostrophecatastrophes.com/.

Apostrophe with letter s is used to show possession, or in some instances a contraction with "is", and not plural.

E.g. "That is the boy's store." The store belongs to the boy.
E.g. "The boy's going to the store." Used as a contraction for "The boy is going to the store."

The apostrophe is not used for plurals. There are exceptions, such as using it to show a plural of an abbreviation (CD's), however this is the most fundamental rule.


_____________________________________________________________________________


Okay, so Miss Know-It-All, aka Miss Perfectionist is done for now. This wasn't really a rant (if you're inclined to think so).  I just came across many instances recently that have always made me want to point it out, and simultaneously shake my head.

The best of them all: 

Person: "I am such a genious."

Me: "Wonderful. A genius who can't spell genius." 

"DONT CORRECT MY GRAMMER'S !!!"



18 comments:

  1. LOL! You're amazing for writing this post. Miss perfectionist, this is SO YOU!

    Alright, back to the post.

    I'm absolutely, and utterly irritated by people mixing up "you're and your" and not even knowing the difference between them.

    And "quite and quiet" is just as annoying!

    Also, "except and accept", that one tickles my anger.

    And then, there's a friend of mine, and instead of saying "He's or He is", my friend say "His". *Sighs*

    But, when I correct him and other people, they all get pissed off, and they start complaining about me, and calling me a grammar Nazi and all.

    Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, before my comment was published (while I was still writing) there were no pictures. As soon as I published it, I look up, and there are cats everywhere!

      *Adorable cats

      And one more thing! There is another friend of mine who annoys me with her weird spelling.

      LOL = Laugh out loud
      LAWL = Nothing

      *Sigh* I tried to tell her that. And I lectured her about how she's defeating the whole purpose of it. But apparently, I'm the annoying one.

      Delete
    2. *Sigh* I was writing my reply to this and it somehow got lost. So here I go writing it again.

      Affect/effect, then/than, except/accept, yup, but somehow the your/you're one gets to me, especially when it's used by educated (that too, university educated) people who THINK they really know it all, and are trying to make an 'intelligent' point. I think, when I hear both words in my mind, I mentally pronounce it differently. The 'your' is like "yore" and you're somehow gets a stress on the 'you' part, because I actually visualize the "you-are" blend. It isn't the vocal pronunciation mind you, but just a mental one. Confusing, I guess. But that's why it really is such a difference in my mind.

      Lol@ lawl.

      I don't really mind short-forms or other net lingo, I'm proud of making up my own words (and often, way of talking), but it's all in fun, and often convenient. But if someone is trying to say a whole word like 'then' and says 'than', it's kind of ludicrous.

      Delete
  2. im sure dhuan bhaiyya will join me in celebrating the fact that the word steak (even if it is contained in the word misteak) showed up in IQs writing :L

    hmm at dont correct m grammers LOL

    you and your conspiration theories ... you hillybilly :L

    ReplyDelete
  3. Miss IQ! *raise hand* I have a question about how to show possession of a plural word. Eg: Which is correct? The boys' store or the boy's store or the boys's store?

    'perfectionist' is you're star sign ?I thought its you're middle name !

    Anyways, thanks for finally letting the grammar cat out of the bag and posting this educational post for the literally challenged like me. Now I will larn inglesh in few weaks.

    P. S.
    Another observation - I think 'more then' is used more than 'more than', at least on chat.

    P. P. S
    If you ever meet Punctuation Baba, tell him that he is a really great man. There is no one in this world as great as him. So he is worship-worthy and that his wisdom is incredible and envied by all other men in this world. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1.Yeah, it's boys'.
      2. Perfectionist is my star-sign, in the galaxy I come from, yes.
      3. Your very walcome.
      4. Yes, then/than is another one.
      5. I'll pass your message along. Only one point of contention: I doubt all other men in this world know he exists.

      Delete
  4. But I use spacing before my question marks. uh-ohes. It's like this exclamation here! It gets jumbled up with the rest of the letters.
    Quite a post this one :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But Boondi ki bachi, haven't you ever noticed it when you're reading print material?

      Lol, thanks though. :P

      Delete
  5. Dear Ms. Perfectionist,
    I am very much pleased to see so much of good English and I wished you posted this a littler earlier so that this would have been helpful in some of the competitive exams. Really, thats' informative. Now, I have to be extra cautious while writing the comments and posts, because every word/letter/space/punctuation/(whatever else is missing/wrongly written) will be checked by Perfectionist.

    - 'Not-so-good-English-writing-person'.

    But, really twas' informative.
    *Please don't check my grammar*. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOLLLLLL Ajay! Don't worry about it :P I'm not the grammar police :)

      Delete
  6. I is feelings very grammerful afta reading you're post please.my englis is so very purfect.
    i is having one kwestion pls, why u is breethes so heavily all thee times? ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol I don't breathe heavily ALL the TIME. I huff and sigh okay hahahaha.

      Yer englis are vary the perfick n i mast say am proud so mach abot yer englis becas am nevar seeing so quiet butifil englises in mine life's I loose mine sense's off what to say when am seeing such englis manners.

      Delete
    2. hahahahahaha what? i is very mannerful please with englis. it is being my bery old frends. yes please.

      Delete
    3. Yes I is knowings we all 3 sat togather in school class times.

      Delete