Writing Grammatical Wrongs

August 13, 2010

Hooray for Teacher’s!

Filed under: Uncategorized — BornFeetFirst @ 9:39 pm
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The subject line of an email from an old friend read: I thought of you first. Gosh, I haven’t seen her for a couple of years, I thought to myself as I clicked to open the email. What made her think of me? Was it an 80s song on the radio? A flashback to the days of shoulder pads and leg warmers? What could it be?

“I pulled up to a stoplight behind a car with a license plate frame that read, ‘Teacher’s Make Other Professions Possible’,” her email stated. She saw poor grammar and thought of me. After all these years, she still knows me well.

After a quick giggle, I couldn’t help but wonder about the owner of the vehicle upon which the offending license plate frame was mounted. Was the teacher driving around unaware that she was propagating poor grammar? If so, that would be a crime. After all, if I ever found myself wondering if I needed an apostrophe or not, I might consult with a teacher. Or her license plate frame. Anyone pulling up behind her might mistakenly assume that plural nouns require an apostrophe followed by an s, because there is a teacher in front of them proclaiming it to be so. Oh dear!

Of course, if she was aware of the grammatical error on her license plate frame, well… I guess I can just hope she’s a math teacher. Oh how I wish my friend had taken down the license plate number so I could track down the owner, investigate, and provide her with a quick lesson in basic grammar.

Here’s a quick tip to help teachers, drivers, and adults everywhere. If you have two or more of something, just add an “s” (or add “es”, depending on the word, but that’s a different post). No apostrophe is needed.


August 12, 2010

Your Engaged! Get Married at One of Our Inn’s

Filed under: Uncategorized — BornFeetFirst @ 8:44 am
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UPDATE 08/14/10: Well, they’ve made a correction, but only to the your/you’re problem in their main title. They’re still using the possessive “inn’s” when they mean to talk about multiple inns. Good grief. Here is their update.

UPDATE 08/13/10: Apparently the author of the post mentioned below has made some changes. As of this morning, the page is no longer available! I feel victorious.


I was doing a little research for B&Bs in Portland, Oregon, when I came across this gem full of grammatical no-nos. Once again the “your versus you’re” conundrum continues to baffle the general population, and my blood pressure shoots up into the danger zone. To make matters worse, these folks have “inn’s”, but apparently no inns.

Let’s review. The word “your” is possessive: your book, your sweater or your baby daddy’s other lover. The word “you’re” is a contraction of the words you and are:  you’re smart, you’re sure to win the prize, and you’re engaged.

It’s so simple. If your sentence makes sense with the words “you are”, you can use the word “you’re” instead. If it doesn’t make sense, use “your”. That’s it. That’s the rule. Use it, or I will make fun of you.

Now let’s talk about those “inn’s”. An apostrophe followed by an s makes your word a possessive which means it needs to be followed by an object: the inn’s architecture is unique, the inn’s bed bug problem remains unresolved, or the inn’s public relations department needs a proof-reader. If you have more than one inn, you have two inns, four inns, or one hundred and thirty three inns, but you do not have inn’s.

Here’s the offending website. I’m just waiting to see if they make any corrections.

Shortlink: http://bit.ly/9CE8DX
Long Link: http://blog.obbg.org/blog/oregon-bed-and-breakfast-guild/0/0/soyour-engaged

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