Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Grammar Nazi Strikes Again!

This post is inspired by a recent post over at Textual Relations. Go read it. Seriously. Now.

Back? Great. So at the end of that one, Mr. President asks:
What about you, what are your pet peeves when it comes to spelling and grammar?
I have a few. I'll narrow it down to the top three here.

#1: "They're, Their, There" Any third grader can tell you the meaning of these three words, but it seems most adults have lost that knowledge. They're is the simplest. It's a contraction. If you can't replace it in a sentence with the words "they are," you're using the wrong word. There refers to location. This should be easily to remember because it has the word here in it. If it's not here, it's there. Their on the other hand is possessive. It means "belonging to them." So, the following sentence would be the correct three uses of the words they're, there and their: They're going to get in their car and drive there.

#2: "Might Could" This may be entirely a Texas thing. I certainly had never heard the phrase until I moved to Texas. It has since become like nails on a chalkboard to my ears. Some examples: "You might could find that at the store," "She might could come over after dinner," "I might could show you how to do that." No, no, and more no. Not only is that redundant, it also just sounds wrong. Use either might or could, but never both.

#3: Double Negatives I'm sure everyone's heard the phrase "two wrongs don't make a right" before. While that's certainly true, two negatives in language do make a positive. It's not "I don't have no money." It's either "I don't have money," or "I have no money." If you don't have no money, then you must have some money. In almost all situations, one negative will suffice. The exception of course, it when you really do mean it to work out to a positive. If that's the case, why not just simplify and remove both of the negatives?


MTNotes said...

your sick of that bad grammar?

me to!

Mr President said...

That might could is a new one. I think it may be a Texas thing. It's still annoying.

Double negatives! I hate those. It's really amazing how many people don't know the most basic things like that.

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