Sunday, July 28, 2013

I can't excape bad grammar!

I hope that anyone reading this realizes that I made the error in the title on purpose!  I haven't seen excape in writing, but I hear it spoken frequently.  It is spelled, and pronounced, escape.  No x anywhere. 

Nowhere should one ever use no were unless referring to a were animal.  I would hope there are no weres.  This is not to be confused with we're, the contraction of we are.  I have seen people, particularly on Facebook, use no were instead of nowhere (one word, notice) or were in place of we're.  As I've said before, it's an apostrophe people! One little character which makes your writing so much clearer!

The criteria for good grammar are not always clear because many people, for whatever reason, are not aware of the unusual status of some words.  Take for example, criteria.  Not criterias. Why? Because it is already plural.  The singular form of criteria is criterion.  Another word like this is phenomenon.  The plural is not phenomenons, but phenomenaMedia is also frequently mistakenly pluralized. The singular is medium.  This is most frequently used when discussing different types of art media.  Which medium do you use?  When discussing newspapers and television news, I believe it is usually media.  The United States has various forms of media.

These are a few grammatical mistakes I've encountered in the last few months.  I've seen a meme going around Facebook that shows a screen that would require a person to put the correct form of a word into a sentence in order to access the internet.  What a great idea!  Maybe people would actually learn!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I need my (Ink) Pin

This post is not about a complaint or pet peeve.  It is actually about something I appreciate in Oklahoma's regional accent.

Around here, people often pronounce the word pen as pin.  Because of that, they frequently qualify it by saying ink pin

Thank you, Oklahomans, for this clarification.  It is appreciated.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Some (More) Common Mistakes

How high it is
How wide it be
How low it was
Too far to see
Many people say and write heighth without a second thought.  Width and depth and even breadth are correct.  Heighth makes sense, right?
It may make sense, but it is wrong! I don't know why this one is different than the others, but it should never be spelled or pronounced heighth. If you do this - stop it!
This brings me to another common misuse.  Frequently, people write then instead of than.  Then is used to say: "I want to do this, then that;" whereas, than is used to say: "I would rather do this than that."
Then indicates a sequence of activities or events; and than indicates a preference for one thing over another.  When speaking, people often pronounce than as then, so I can understand some of the confusion.  There are regional variations in how words are said; however, there is no variation in the spelling of the words.  They are different, despite regional pronunciations. 
One other word that is constantly misused is wereWere is a verb (Not to be confused with were as in werewolf.  That's a whole other animal).  It should never be used in place of we're, which is a contraction of we are.  That's just lazy.  It's just an apostrophe, people!  One extra keystroke, maybe two on a phone.  It is not that difficult and there is no reason not to use it.  It will make your writing, or texts, clearer.  I'm one of those people who takes longer to decipher text speak than to type out a message using complete words and punctuation.  Please be kind and use good grammar!  My thanks.