Writing Grammatical Wrongs

July 1, 2010

Your Doing Grate!

Filed under: Uncategorized — BornFeetFirst @ 12:54 pm
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Anxious about running my first 10k the following morning, I decided to walk the final mile of the course after dinner with my husband. I had heard runners say that they like to visualize themselves victoriously crossing the line. Walking the course helped cement the image in their minds. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try.

As we walked along the tree-lined waterfront trail, we read the brightly colored sidewalk chalk messages scribbled by family members and friends to encourage their runners:

“Go Mom!”

“You’re Almost There!”

“Way To Go!”

“Good Job!”

“Your Doing Grate!”

“Your Doing Grate?” I asked incredulously as I stopped dead in my tracks, pointing an accusing finger at the offending message. My husband sighed as he shook his head in dismay.

The bold, clear handwriting was too perfect to be that of a child. The culprit had to be an adult. I shook my head in bewilderment. If only I had a piece of chalk, I thought. I would add an enormous apostrophe and an “e” then draw a rudimentary cheese grater next to the message. But, with no chalk in hand, I had to be content with visualizing myself stomping across the message as I neared the finish line the following morning. I could feel the acid in my stomach rising in my throat.

“Your/You’re” errors bother me more than any other grammatical error. I see it every day in facebook comments, “Your so sweet!” and “Your gonna love this video.” If facebook offered an option to edit other peoples’ comments, I’d go in and change them to say things like, “Your armpit hair is so sweet when you braid it like that!” and “Your mother is gonna love this video of you pole dancing”.

Maybe it bugs me so much because there’s such an easy way to test which word to use. If your sentence makes sense with the words “you are” then you can use the contraction “you’re”. If it doesn’t make sense, use “your”. It’s that simple.

I went to bed that night trying to visualize myself running the last mile of the race. I could almost hear the roar of the crowd as the finish line came into view. I tried to push aside images of “Your Doing Grate”, but there it was, 100 feet from the finish line, in bright, bold lettering. I no longer controlled my visualization as I pictured myself screeching to a halt and pulling out an imaginary piece of red chalk. In the distance, I could see the time clock furiously ticking off tenths of seconds as streams of runners swirled around me. The more I visualized, the more anxious I became. The finish line seemed to draw further and further away as I stood scribbling on the sidewalk. I finally fell into a fitful sleep.

I awoke in the wee hours of the morning to one of my favorite sounds – rain. I cheered inwardly as I rolled over and fell into a deep sleep. Heaven’s correction fluid had arrived just in time to erase the egregious grammatical error so I could run in peace.

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