Perhaps it’s a side effect of reading so voraciously when I was a child, but I’ve never had major issues with grammar. Although my grammar isn’t perfect (no one’s is, really), grammar comes pretty naturally to me. I’ve never had to study it to inherently understanding parallel structure or compound sentences or what have you. I don’t strive for perfect grammar, but I do strive for excellent grammar.
As a child, I would embarrass my parents by correcting adults’ grammar (because it was something my parents corrected in my brother and me, I didn’t yet understand at 4 years old that it was rude to correct adults when they used bad grammar). I’ve since grown out of that habit, but I still get a little nails-on-the-chalkboard feeling when people use incorrect grammar in the written word. For your grammatical delight (or perhaps you’re trying to learn English grammar?), I’ve found a gorgeous little infographic over at bitrebels.com about the most annoying writing mistakes (and yes, it does have an unnecessary hyphen in “most-annoying,” but we’ll let that pass for now…).
One mistake that this infographic didn’t include was when people end a sentence with “John and I” instead of “John and me, or they say “Jane gave it to John and I” when it should be “John and me.” Egads! And for me, one mistake I personally am frequently making is spelling the word “happened” wrong — I never can remember whether it has one “n” or two. Thank goodness for spell check! Which mistakes really make you want to whip out that red pen? Which mistakes do you have to keep catching yourself on?
- Behler Blog: You Writes? You Needs Skillz
- Natalie Whipple: Why Grammar and Punctuation Matter
- Kidlit.com: A Real Had Been
I’m sure I’ve committed plenty of grammar errors, so I tend to be pretty forgiving, but one that really gets me is using ‘good’ and ‘well’ incorrectly, as in ‘I’m doing good’ instead of ‘I’m doing well.’ Not sure why it bugs me so much, but it does. 🙂
I try to say “great” in this instance as much as possible since it just bypasses the rule entirely that way. 🙂
This infograph is beautiful.
Glad you like it!
The rampant over-hyperbolization (which might not be a word, but oh well) in common speech irritates me in a big way. I have, for instance, heard far too many living people claim to have “literally died”.
And talking of punctuation, when did it apparently become the American norm to use single quotation marks (‘literally died’) instead of double (“literally died”) except in cases of dialogue? I’ve read a lot of Agatha Christie, and so am accustomed to single quotes as the British standard, but American writing didn’t use to employ them except within double quotes (“You ‘literally died’, huh?”). So I can’t tell whether it’s a new stylistic rule, or if it’s one of those things where so many people are doing it wrong, we gave up and called it right (as I’m told has happened with the definition of “literally”. *sobs*)
The single quote really bugs me, too! I don’t think that it’s entered the so-frequent-it-doesn’t-matter territory. Yet.
Facts are always easier to digest when they are presented in color and in a visually appealing way, aren’t they? (Madison Avenue, anyone?) My additions to this infograph would be its (possessive) and it’s (contraction for it is) and there (location), their (possessive pronoun), and they’re (contraction for they are).
So many people get those wrong! They definitely need to be watched for as well.
No-one is perfect when it comes to grammar, and I might have had the same issue of being a complete bookworm when I was a kid. The result is me not being able to understand why people have an issue with ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. It gets me really annoyed 😛
It makes so much sense to me which is which, but yeah, perhaps it’s our bookworm tendencies that led to that understanding.
I get rather frosted with the old apostrophe glitch: it’s for its, or making possessives when it should be plural, especially when it appears in advertising. Aargh!
That one super bugs me, too, especially in professional settings.
I had a chuckle at the misuse of the hyphen in the infographic’s title. I love any post on grammar rules. It’s a chance to brush up and see if I’m guilty of any of the errors! I wrote a post recently on the overuse of “basically.” It occurs most often in speech, but I find it can often be eliminated from writing, too.
“Basically” is one of those words that isn’t usually necessary but often gets into the mix without us noticing right away. It’s such a good practice to teach ourselves to watch for words like that.
My addition to this is the cringe-worthy misuse of insure vs. ensure. It’s surprising to me how many advertisements, on a national level, misuse this. Don’t these ad execs have a proofreader?
Wish you had given us the rule, I’m never quite sure which one to use 🙂
That one bugs me, too! You can find an explanation of the differences here: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/assure-versus-ensure-versus-insure?page=all
What a fun graphic! I’m a little nervous about commenting here. What if my grammar isn’t good enough to pass muster? Yikes! 😀
Passive voice is a constant trap for me. I often write in passive voice without realizing it, only to cringe when I go back during the edit phase. Thankfully, I don’t have much trouble catching it and correcting it later. And the ellipsis’s siren song lures me in every time. *sigh*
I have trouble with the passive voice, too, but at least we recognize it! 🙂
It turns out I am an ellipsis abuser…but I’m working on it! 😉
One day at a time! 😉
I’m a terrible speller now, I rely on spell checker way too much. I don’t bother fixing my spelling errors until the end of my sentence or paragraph, then I go back and fix all of my errors. Before spell checker, I was so meticulous about spelling. Now I guess I’ve gotten lazy. Too bad the grammar-checker doesn’t work as well as the spell-checker does! Great graphic. Why do I think the hyphen in the header is there just to see if you are paying attention? 🙂
Maybe it is! They’ve got to keep us on our toes, I suppose.
My grammar is atrocious 😦
I think i should print this out ad stick it above my desk! 😉
I love having little handy reminders like this around for reference. Thanks for visiting! 🙂
I just wish the people in my office could send emails with subject verb agreement. I want to coach them: “They ARE” “We ARE” “She IS” And of course, none of them can seem to remember the difference between “you’re” and “your”
I think I just got bad grammar karma from this comment. I will probably send an email with a your/you’re typo tomorrow. LOL
I’m afraid of that, too! I might just blithely be sending out an email with “there” and “their” swapped around and not notice until it’s gone out to a ghastly amount of coworkers…
Oh, the corporate “lingo” drives me up the wall! Along with the rampant spoken use of acronyms like “FYI” and “COB” in the “office place.” (Please, it’s an office, plain and simple.)
It’s and Its drive me nuts, and Microsoft Word’s spell check usually gets them wrong, even after all these years. I never rely on it to get things right.
I’ve actually never heard the “office place” expression before, although “COB” gets thrown around my current place of work all the time (and I’m guilty of using “FYI” more often than is strictly necessary). I also get totally irritated when people use it’s and its wrong; sometimes we need to check on spell check. 🙂
your and you’re gets me almost every time. I know how to use it correctly, but my eyes never catch the mistake when I proofread.
I saw the “your” mistake in a print publication recently! It’s crazy how common some of these mistakes are; it’s also very hard to catch when you’re reading something you wrote yourself.