I don’t know if people just didn’t learn grammar the way I did through my Catholic school education, but sometimes I am completely appalled by the way some people write and speak!
- My biggest pet peeve is when people abbreviate the date incorrectly. For example, people will write 17′ instead of ’17 which makes no sense. The apostrophe is meant to replace what is missing. Nothing is missing at the end of the numbers. The apostrophe in this case is replacing “20.” The same goes for words – chillin’, hangin’, cruisin’, etc. The apostrophe is replacing the “g.” So, all you college girls out there, please change your insta bios to have the correct apostrophe placement.
- Another big pet peeve of mine is when people put the dollar sign after the number. We are taught in like second grade that the dollar sign goes before the number and the cent sign goes after. It doesn’t even look right when people write 40$! You would never go into a store and see 7.99$ on a price tag or under a product on the shelf.
- Also – I cannot believe people still do not know the difference between there, they’re, and their as well as your and you’re. I am not going to waste my time explaining the differences because I know for a fact that everyone is taught the correct ways to use these words in school.
- Although this is probably the unpopular opinion, I am a strong believer in the Oxford comma (aka the serial comma aka the necessary comma). For example: “At the store, we need to buy milk, cheese, and eggs.” The comma after “cheese” is an Oxford comma. Technically, it isn’t needed but when it isn’t used, an assumption is made that the cheese and eggs go together. If you were listing your favorite types of sandwiches, you wouldn’t write “turkey, tuna and peanut butter.” You would write “turkey, tuna, and peanut butter.” Listing your favorite sandwiches without the Oxford comma makes it sound like your favorite sandwich has both tuna and peanut butter on it. This doesn’t bother the average person, but I am not average.
- I also keep hearing people use “most” and “more” instead of the “-est” and “-er” endings. I hear “most funny” or “more happy” or “most small.” This is wrong! Funniest, happier, and smallest are the correct way to say these words. “Most” and “more” only apply to certain words. I do not think there is any specific rule that defines when these endings should be used but I would say that if you add “-est” or “-er” and it doesn’t sound right, then it probably isn’t right.
- I think that people think that saying and writing “wouldn’t of” or “couldn’t of” is correct. It’s not! Although we may pronounce the words like this, the correct spelling is “couldn’t have.” People, including myself, often say it as “couldn’t’ve.” But writing “of” instead of “have” is incorrect and I don’t think a lot of people know this.
- My final grammar pet peeve is one that was pointed out to me in my senior year creative writing class. My teacher pointed out that English speakers have a terrible habit of writing and saying “the person that…” instead of “the person who…” I don’t know if I was ever guilty of this mistake but ever since she pointed it out to our class, I am hyper-aware of when it is misused. A person should never be referred to as a “that.”
I strongly believe that how you write/speak is a direct reflection of who you are. I know not everyone believes that and maybe I do only because grammar was such a huge focus in my elementary and middle school education. (It was such a focus that I spent more time learning grammar than basic math which might be why I am horrible at math). I love writing and I love words, so I think that is where my grammar insanity stems from.