Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today's Lesson

Two things I want to talk about today: grammar and spelling.  I'm in no way a grammar-snob-a-saurus.  I don't know enough about it to be a snob-a-saurus.  When I do learn something and then hear it misused it drives me nuts.  And probably more than hearing it- reading it... Agh!  I'm not referring to blogs.  I mean this is an outlet for us all.  We are free to write as we wish.  I'm talking poorly written books.  (Twilight, Eclipse, New Moon, Breaking Dawn....)  My biggest pet peeve (aside from when people say "pet peeve") is when someone uses "funner" or "funnest."  Those are not words.  And I'll correct you on it.  Huh, Natalie?  My second most irritating is "anyways."  Not.  Right.  And third would have to be "could care less."  That's not right.  Think about it.  If you could care less... let it sink in... there is still part of you that does care.  And that is not what you are trying to express.  You should say "couldn't care less."  Doesn't that make more sense?  I'll put myself out there and say I don't have it right all the time.  But I do 99.8889% of the time.   
I'd like to profess that I am an excellent speller.  You might be surprised to know that good spellers, like myself, do not know how to spell every word they want to use.  What they do know is to check if they are not sure of a word's spelling.  Biggest spelling bugaboos?  Ahhh... how long can the list be?
  1. there, they're, their
  2. whose, who's
  3. your, you're, yore (<--- always makes me think of Christmas... wait that's yule)
  4. know, no
  5. forth, fourth (Do you know these are different words with different meanings?  I didn't just spell fourth wrong.)
  6. its, it's
  7. through, threw, thorough
  8. stationary, stationery
  9. right, rite, write (rite is not shorthand for right.... rite means a ritual)
  10. choose, chose
  11. All right, alright (Alright is not even a word.)
Okay- that's a small scratch on the surface.  I think they are all homonyms.  Homonyms are words that sound like each other- if you couldn't pick that up from context clues.  This list of eleven I've got down.  I  don't make mistakes with them unless it is out of haste. 
As a pro, I still have my hangups.  There are some I still have to think through. Some of my favorite tricky ones are:
1.  lay, lie Lay the blanket down so we can lie in the shade
2.  affect, effect Loud music affects my hearing. I ignored the harmful effects so long and now I am deaf.
3.  all ready, already I went to the bathroom already so now, I am all ready.
4.  allude, elude The principal alluded to budget cuts as the murder suspect eluded us.  I don't know why there was a murder suspect in a school board meeting.  It just came to me.

Fascinating, huh? In college I had to buy a Quick Access Reference Guide for a class.  I am confident in saying that if my best friend had to be inanimate- it would be my Quick Access.  I love it and recommend everyone purchase one.


Natalie said...

OK Patty you got me. I am the worstest speller in the world. But this was the bestest funnerest post of alllllll, are you cringing yet!!!!!

Lyner said...

There are times I will mess up and put the wrong word. When I read it though, that drives me crazy! This post made me smile.

Karlenn said...

The "could care less" kills me. I'm always telling me it's "COULDN'T care less." You're right - in blog land, it doesn't bug me. But on signs and billboards at professional businesses, it makes me so mad. Are you sure about the "all right/alright?" I thought "alright" is good for a start of a sentence - "Alright, it's time for this meeting to come to order." Whereas, isn't "all right" for ascertaining how a person is feeling? "Kar, are you all right?" Maybe I totally made up those rules for alright/all right. Sometimes I do that... And you'd be proud - I always tell my kids to lie down in the tub for me to wash their hair, not to LAY down. Go me. Instilling bits of grammatical correctness, even at such a tender age. :)

Karlenn said...

Whoa. I meant "I'm always telling PEOPLE it's 'couldn't care less.'" Sheesh. Speaking of poor grammar...

Chris said...

One that bugs me is when people say, "I feel nauseous." I guess they don't realize that "nauseous" literally means, "sickening to think about." So they think, "If somebody thinks about me, they're going to become ill." The correct word is nauseated. "I feel nauseated from the nauseous boat ride."

The sad thing is, everyone uses it improperly so often that using it properly sounds wrong.

Cinderella, the A-Train and Our Little Caboose said...

Uh, I am sure you hate to read my blog! I am awful at correct grammar! Although, I will say that if I am unsure of how to spell a word I ALWAYS look it up (or ask Andy). Even if it is a simple one, that just doesn't look right. So like you said, if there is a spelling error, it's usually made in haste. Grammar on the other hand, well...thats entirely different. I hated grammar. Andy would sometimes read a post and then tell me about something that was wrong, and he totally made me feel inferior to him (but not on purpose, he thought he was helping me out)...anyway, he hasn't done that in a while because I told him he was making me feel like an idiot. Maybe I should start asking him to proof read again. I am sure I desperately need it! haha.

Love the post! Maybe it will help me on my path to better grammar! :)

vicks27 said...

Welcome to my world. And my day job.

Julia said...

My Revlon professional blow dryer says on the warning tag, "umplug it" UM...UM? Public spelling errors drive me nuts, and they always make me want to call up the company and ask them to hire me as a proofreader.