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Grammatical Mistakes That Drive Me Nuts

Generally, I’m not that picky about stuff. As a writer, I often break grammatical rules in dialog for instance. But generally, I see several errors made repeatedly and they drive me up a tree. I am by no means a grammar goddess. I make mistakes all the time (hello, queen of the comma splice here) but I want to improve them!

An apostrophe means two things: Possessive, as in, “Susan’s coat was red” here the apostrophe denotes the coat in the sentence belongs to Susan.

Or it marks a contraction. That is to say, the merging of two words: “It’s raining today” Here the apostrophe splices the word it and the word is.


This drives me nuts and I see it all the time. “The ducks on the lake looked happy.” You see? It is not “The duck’s on the lake looked happy.” or I’d be saying, “the duck’s what? Their bills? Their feathers? Their mothers? What?”

Irregardless IS NOT A WORD. The word is regardless.

Your – indicates possession – “Your hair looks nice.”
You’re is a contraction of the words you and are – “You’re smiling a lot today!”

I’ve seen these errors countless times in books and also used by writers all over the place. If it’s in IM, I don’t care. Heck, I usually have a kid on my lap when I’m online. But it’s inexcusable in a book or on your website. If you see any errors like this on my website PLEASE email me so I can fix it. I think I need chocolate now.

7 comments to “Grammatical Mistakes That Drive Me Nuts”

  1. Kate R
    April 8th, 2006 at 5:16 pm · Link

    oh it’s as possessive Ooooohhh oh ACK. EEEeeiii
    of course I get it’s/its wrong 50% of the time, but I do check it before the final version.

  2. Meljprincess
    April 9th, 2006 at 6:22 am · Link

    Yea, I check it and it’s, who’s and whose, and your and you’re. Must read my “Idiot’s Guide to Grammar”! Commas drive me crazy.

    I see so many errors in books. It’s like I’m reading ARCS. Ridiculous..

  3. Lili
    April 9th, 2006 at 6:48 am · Link

    Guilty as charged. 🙂

    And also – than/then and their/there/they’re.

    I’ve never see these common errors in books. But then I don’t read current fiction.

    And if you’ve ever read an English assignment written by a 16-year-old, you’ll see the dumbing down process in full swing. The teachers don’t catch even the smallest errors. And the problem of graduating illiterate students is growing.

  4. Lili
    April 9th, 2006 at 6:55 am · Link

    And then I forgot – the word is Prerogative not Perogative. I do so hate that mistake, and it’s everywhere from books to the evening news.

  5. Lauren Dane
    April 9th, 2006 at 8:30 am · Link

    Oh mine are affect and effect, especially the past tense “affected” and “effected” drives me nuts (and makes me grateful for my editor)

    And the thing about commas is that they’re so often in the eye of the beholder! I’ve had stuff with publishers who put commas EVERYWHERE! It’s their house style. I’ve had editors who hate them. Shrug. I do know I was a major comma splicer back in my newbie days but I’v really worked hard to improve that, LOL

  6. Meljprincess
    April 10th, 2006 at 7:15 am · Link

    lili, I didn’t know that about Prerogative. Thanks.

  7. tvaddictgurl
    April 10th, 2006 at 8:38 am · Link

    The people that live on the floor below us used to have a sign on their door that read:

    Please take
    off you’re

    They’ve since taken it down which is too bad because on the day we moved out (which will be next month) I wanted to go down with a red pen and correct it.

Phew! »