This is the second time I’ve written this post, the first time (last night) my efforts got lost in the bowels of the internet and did not save. You’ll excuse me if I’m a bit testy.
So, there are only two things that make me more angry than grammatical mistakes: violence against children and animals dressed as humans (unless it’s a dog in a sweater… that’s adorable!). Whether it’s my younger cousins’ Facebook statuses (sorry guys, but seriously?) or the grocery store sign stating: “Orange’s $.50/lb”, nothing sends me into a white hot rage as quickly. But don’t worry, we can still be friends if you find yourself making these mistakes on a regular basis, I just won’t read your blog posts and I’ll be in physical pain every time you text me. No biggie.
This one’s ultra straight forward so I’m just going to break it down quickly for you. “To” is a directional word, sort of like towards (Please give this costume to Susan); “too” is like saying “also” (Hey, I have this Han Solo stuck in carbonite costume too!) and “two” is a number (Who would have thought there’d be two Han Solo in carbonite costumes as this party?).
This mistake is especially prevalent and it’s time it stopped. The Oatmeal says it best in the cartoon to the right but just in case you’re too lazy to click on it: “their” is the possessive form of them, you can use it to denote when something belongs to someone else (Their dog looks so cute in its sweater); “they’re” is a contraction of “they are” and the usage should be pretty obvious (Don’t you think they’re being a bit cruel making him wear it in the summer?); “there” refers to a place (Nope, there’s some shade over there he can sit in).
Yikes, that’s a permanent grammatical error… unless he has a third hand somewhere with a noun on it. The difference between “your” and “you’re” is pretty simple, one (your) is the possessive form of you and the other (you’re) is the contraction of “you are”. If in doubt try the full version out in a sentence. Would you say, “you are dead cat is starting to smell”? Nope, you’d say “your dead cat is starting to smell”. Cat, by the way, would be a great possible noun for that guy’s third hand.
Sometimes you need them, sometimes you don’t. This seems to be especially hard for small business owners to figure out but, for the love of Flying Spaghetti Monster, proof read your signs before you print them! Here’s when you need an apostrophe: when you’re using contractions the apostrophe stands in for the missing letters (You may think I’m crazy for being so anal about this, but I’m not) and, when something belongs to someone else (Jessica’s obsession with grammar is off putting). You do not need to use an apostrophe when something is plural. Don’t get me started on quotation marks.
OMG! UR on the internet! You must be SO excited! That must explain why you can’t seem to form a proper sentence, use grammar, punctuation or correct spelling. Seriously, even if you’re a 16 year old girl who totally just saw Mindy and Brad making out at Sandy’s party, you can take the time to use proper language skills in your blog posts, Tweets, Facebook statuses, emails and chat messages. LOLCats, I blame you. (You’ll note I’m not linking to their site, because they don’t deserve it.)
P.S. I’m well aware of my love affair with commas and if I made any grammatical mistakes in this post I don’t want to hear about it. I’d much rather live in smug satisfaction thinking I’m right.
What language mistake really grinds your gears?