Grammar is the greatest joy in life, don’t you find?

Today is National Grammar Day. In honour of National Grammar Day, and because grammar is my greatest joy in life, I will give a brief and incomplete list of my favourite grammar- and spelling-related pet peeves, followed by a much shorter list of grammatical mistakes that I’m actually okay with.

  • Internal pluralisation. Wrong: passer-by’s, court martials, iPod Touches. Right: passers-by, courts martial, iPods Touch.
  • Reflexive vs. objective pronouns. Wrong: “You can talk to Peter or myself during the break for clarification.” Right: “You can talk to Peter or me during the break for clarification.”
  • Subject-object disagreement. Wrong: “She say that there’s a problem.” Right: “She says that there’s a problem.” (Usually this one is just a result of failing to check what you wrote after the fact. It’s still really bothersome to me.)
  • Apostrophes for pluralisation. Wrong: “I bought two carton’s of milk.” Right: “I bought two cartons of milk.”
  • Using the past instead of the subjunctive. Wrong: “If I was the president …” Right: “If I were the president …”
  • Using the wrong homonym. Your/you’re, two/to/too, there/they’re/their, whether/weather, past/passed, hear/here. It’s not that hard.
  • Modals. Wrong: should of, would of, could of. Right: should have, would have, could have.

The following are two grammatical mistakes that I’m actually okay with. They are technically wrong, but I don’t get upset about them. Probably because they’re both restrictions that were placed on the English language because neither can be translated back into Latin.

  • Ending a sentence with a preposition. This is something up with which I can put.
  • Split infinitives. If you want to boldly go there, that’s fine with me.

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The Grey Literature

This is the personal blog of Benjamin Gregory Carlisle PhD. Queer; Academic; Queer academic. "I'm the research fairy, here to make your academic problems disappear!"

2 thoughts on “Grammar is the greatest joy in life, don’t you find?”

  1. ‘Using the past instead of the subjunctive’ is so common in every day speech that it’s hard to even know which is right and wrong.

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