Writing Grammatical Wrongs

November 16, 2010

Tutor’s Needed for Student’s!

Filed under: Uncategorized — BornFeetFirst @ 6:17 pm
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Oh, this just makes my day! An ad on craigslist for part time “tutor’s” contains not one, not two, but seven, yes SEVEN grammatical errors! I guess it’s a good thing they’re looking for tutors. Perhaps their staff can sign up for lessons.

Here’s a link to the craigslist posting:

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/edu/2063903071.html

Update: As of 9:30pm on the day of this post, the grammatical errors have been corrected. Could it be that someone at HQ received an email with a twitpic of the screen shot below? Who knows. They haven’t taken me up on my offer to tutor staff, though… still waiting.

And, since I plan on emailing them a link to this blog, I’m also including a screen shot of the page. You should take special note of the fact that the writer of the ad has not only turned plurals into possessives, s/he has misspelled the name of the organization! I’ve circled the organization name (Learn It Systems) and have drawn an arrow to the writer’s mistake: “Learn It System’s”.

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September 24, 2010

Yesterday’s Spelling Turd

Filed under: Uncategorized — BornFeetFirst @ 4:08 pm
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Facebook is a treasure trove of grammatical and spelling errors and while I generally don’t correct or reproach my friends for their mistakes, I do reserve the right to use their blunders as blog fodder.

The status update (slightly modified): Yesturday my dreams came true!

I’m a fairly visual person, so the image that immediately popped into my head was that of a huge turd following my friend around all day like an excited wiener dog on a leash. The turd would wag its tail as people walked by staring at it, strain at its leash as it tried to race ahead, or sit patiently as my friend sat at an outside café to drink her coffee, turds not being allowed in Starbucks.

I then spent the rest of my day trying desperately not to think about poop. But, as you probably know by now, the more you try not to think of something the more you think of it. Yesterday’s turd is still with me today.

There are two reasons I felt compelled to blog about this particular status. Number one, and number two (cue cymbals). Don’t worry, I don’t intend for this post to be flush with poop humor. Oops, I did it again. The thing is that most people don’t seem to give a crap about their spelling or grammar, especially online.

So, do me a favor. If you need to remember how to spell the day that came before today, remember this: there are no turds in yesterday.

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
OR
Long Link: http://blog.obbg.org/blog/oregon-bed-and-breakfast-guild/0/0/soyour-engaged

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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