We Interrupt Regular Programming to Bring You an Unsolicited Grammar Rant

Since we got a new apartment, I’ve been spending time on Gumtree, trying to source certain items of furniture. In doing so I’ve noticed a disturbing trend.

Draws

Do you see it? It’s all I can see.

It’s not the fact that someone is charging $180 for a secondhand desk. It’s the way they, and the others surrounding them, have advertised it.

They aren’t draws, people. They’re drawERS.

During my unofficial research, I’ve discovered that more people think the word is draws than those who don’t. *sob* I’m getting worked up just thinking about it.

You might not know this, but I’m a selective grammar pedant. There are certain common mistakes that native English speakers make, on a daily basis, that they just shouldn’t, and it hurts my heart.

And in light of this new information about the death of the word ‘drawers,’ I feel a powerful urge to drag out my soapbox and deliver a rant. Seeing as this is my own little corner of the internet, I decided to go ahead and do it because the world needs its drawers, dammit.

Plural vs. Possessive

This one is my pet peeve, the king of all grammar transgressions. It’s even worse than confusing their, there, and they’re, or your and you’re. I can’t understand how it happened, because didn’t we all have years of English class? Aren’t we ambassadors of the English language? Then why can’t we get it right?

I came across this on twitter a few days ago:

Writer’s live twice.

My indignation was so great that it felt as if I’d been punched in the solar plexus. A writer’s what lives twice? Her pen? Her soul? What? I’m on tenterhooks. Hopefully it’s not her apostrophes.

Then I saw this a few lines down:

Lot’s of questions about…[blah blah blah not important]

Who is Lot? And what belonging of his are we talking about?

And the two most common offenders, which I see in some form every single time I go online and yes I’m talking to ALL OF YOU because everyone’s done it, probably even me:

The Fitzpatrick‘s are coming for dinner tonight.

I go running on Saturday‘s.

Okay I just said that last bit to be nice because I would never make this mistake because WHY? Augh. I’m out of metaphorical breath.

Guys. If it owns something, feel free to use an apostrophe. If it’s plural, leave that poor little ‘s’ alone. Unless we’re talking about it’s and its, but I don’t even want to go there today.

Faze vs. Phase

I was reading “The Moment” by Douglas Kennedy last week when I saw the word phase used instead of faze. It shook me so badly that I had to run to the internet and investigate, to make sure I hadn’t been using the wrong word all this time.

I hadn’t.

The editors missed it, thus perpetuating the problem. So let’s go over it here:

I wasn’t fazed when the tiger asked to borrow my shoes.
Let’s move on to the next phase of the project.

You see, they sound the same, but they’re different words.

Bought vs. Brought

Did you buy it or did you bring it?

buy = bought

bring = brought

I concede that it is possible to do both:

First, I bought a BeDazzler, then I brought it home.

If you brought it home before you bought it then you’re in trouble with somebody besides the fashion and grammar police.

This concludes today’s grammar rant.
Please accept my apologies, but something had to be said.

The drawers out there deserve better than this.

 

21 Responses to “We Interrupt Regular Programming to Bring You an Unsolicited Grammar Rant”

  1. HI!Can you plz guide me a little…
    This is hamy from Pakistan..
    If i get certified by TESOL would i be able to get a job in South Korea??If not than Please mention countries that hire NNEST?
    thanks

    • I think to teach in South Korea you have to be from Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, NZ, or South Africa. I don’t know which countries hire non-native English speakers, sorry!

  2. DRAWS??? Is it genuine confusion or just laziness to write the rest of the word ou

  3. My favorite is “there’s two.” Um, there IS two, or there ARE two? Or how about “me and him are leaving.” Me leave. Him leave. Me go back to cave. Me eat woolly mammoth and him make fur coat. Grr.

  4. I liked this post alot. Haha. Just messing with you! We are going to get on like a house on fire when I get to Sydney!!

  5. Oh bless you. Bought/brought mix ups drive me insane!!
    The other ones that kill me are lose/loose and the ongoing battle of versus/versing/verse!!! A recent ad sent me over the edge and I began contemplating a Twitter bot that automatically corrects offenders!
    Your rant seems a much better alternative, if only because I don’t know how to build a Twitter bot.

    • I don’t even know what a Twitter bot is, but if I did that’s exactly what I’d do with it too. Lose/loose I forgot all about that one!

      • Sketchy on details because I don’t know how to code one but essentially it would search the Twitterverse for the offending word and then tweet people who used it with a witty (or otherwise) correction! Alas, it remains a dream for now.

  6. Have you ever seen the blog of unnecessary quotation marks? I’d post a link to it, but I think that will make my comment look spammy. Anyway, it’s my grammar nerd outlet.

    These kinds of mistakes seemed even more embarrassing when I started teaching English abroad. Most people that are studying ESL know so much more about how to use English properly than native speakers do.

    • No, but I’m looking it up now! I get such a weird satisfaction when other people feel as strongly as I do about grammar. And agreed on the English abroad. Foreign English students do seem to pay more attention to grammar!

  7. Omg, finally someone who sees the mistakes in grammar that I do and is as bothered by them. The possessives really get to me, too.

    • YES. I can’t not see them and it drives me insane. Sometimes I have to stop myself from walking into a shop and telling them that their sign is wrong.

  8. I laughed at this post. My husband drives me crazy with ‘to vs too vs two” and ‘lay vs lie’…..he sees no difference!

  9. HAHAHAHA! Plural versus possessive is my BIGGEST pet grammar peeve. Seriously. When I worked in a call centre, I was in charge of checking e-mails sent from the departmental e-mail account, and was appalled at the quality (or lack thereof) of grammar.

    account’s
    customer’s
    refund’s
    client’s

    All of them were plural. I sent an email round first apologising for being a pedant, but then said that it gave a really bad impression of our department. It rubbed a few people up the wrong way, but these e-mails were going to senior management and looked like they were written by second graders. Second graders with poor grammar.

    I’m getting stressed just thinking about it.

    • I was having heart palpitations reading your list of transgressions. I’m so glad you sent out an email and called people on it!! I probably would have wrapped my arms around myself and rocked back in forth in a corner, all while insisting that everything was fine. Or, wrote nasty things about them on the internet.

      Oh wait.

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