05 May 2009

Oh, you humans ...

You just kill me sometimes, you know that?

I try to be good on Facebook and Twitter. Only twice have I left comments correcting grammar or spelling. Twice! And I could have done so at least sixty-three times this past week alone.

On the off chance that the offenders are reading, here's a refresher. And yes, I do see the irony in my being a stickler for grammar and spelling and being so poor at style. What can I say? Strunk and White bore me.

-"Your" indicates possession. If you mean to say "you are," the word you want is "you're" which is a contraction of the words "you" and "are." As in, "I'm sure you're aware that your pants are on backwards."
-Contractions are tricky little things, aren't they? Here's another one: it's. A contraction of the words "it" and "is." "Its" is, like "your," a word that indicates possession. As in, "It's annoying when people don't know the difference between two similar words. English isn't that difficult. Its rules are fairly simple."
-"Their" indicates possession. "There" indicates location. "They're" is one of those tricky little contractions, this one of "they" and "are." As in, "They're parking their car over there."
-So much of English is about possession, isn't it? Here's another one: the apostrophe. This one's important, so I'm going to go all caps-lock on your arse: YOU DO NOT NEED AN APOSTROPHE TO PLURALIZE A WORD. Never have, never will. An apostrophe and an "s" can be another contraction, usually a given word and the word "is," as in "Jill's intolerant of poor spelling." However, if I had just returned from a Jill Convention, I would not need an apostrophe to say, "There were a lot of Jills there." The "s" alone is sufficient for pluralization. To say that "There were a lot of Jill's" there would beg the question, Jill's whats? Apostrophe = possession. I will shout it from the rooftops.
-The following are not words: lite, nite, rite, thru, tho, and any mishmashed abbreviation that one might use in a text message or a chat room.
-It is customary to begin the first word of a sentence with a capital letter, unless you are e.e. cummings. And his work just irritates me. Also, proper nouns should begin with capital letters. Is it really that hard to push the shift key?
-If a word you've typed is underlined in green or red, the computer doesn't like it. Usually, the computer doesn't like it for a reason, and that reason is that you can't spell.

Please keep these things in mind, dear humans. Read them. Learn them. Use them. Because I can keep my opinions to myself for only so long, and once I begin my merciless red-pen rampage, no one will be spared.

1 comment:

jgirl said...

I'm not saying that I'll win any grammar prizes any time soon, rampant misspellings bug me too...I have a co-worker that spells everything wrong, (trust me I'm not kidding on that) she gets so annoyed with me for erasing and respelling all of her silly notes...=0)