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Grammatical Pet Peeves

Everyone has them, right? Well, I’m no different and I make no qualms about it. Some of the same mistakes I’m about to attack, I make myself. The difference with me is that I try to correct mine while others purposely irk me by doing the same ish over and over again.

In no specific order, the following are just a few of my most annoying pet peeves.

Let’s start with condoms, shall we? When I hear the words, “the condom broke,” that really gets under my skin – I ABHOR (with capital letters) that terminology! First of all, a condom is a rubber, is it not? I mean that’s what folks of a certain generation called them back in the day. Why? Because they’re e-las-tic which means they s-t-r-e-t-c-h. So, if that’s the case, rubber would rip or tear, right? Rubber would only break if it’s frozen or hardened, right again? I mean, let me know if my way of thinking is wrong. You cannot rip something that breaks. For example, I couldn’t rip a crystal vase but I could break it. If I were to drop it on a hard surface, what would happen? I hear all of you saying, “it would break,” and guess what? You’re right. If a condom (used or not) were to fall on that same hard surface, would it break?

I rest my case. A broken condom is an oxymoron!

For the most part, I recognize when something is not quite right – doesn’t flow well. Although I know there’s a conjunction-junction-what’s-your-function type rule – I don’t remember what that rule is – maybe one of you can re-teach me, but what I do know is that I learned things a certain way because I was taught that way in elementary school. For instance, the terms “exact same” and “same exact” are used interchangeably and wrong! I was taught to include “ly” to the word “exact” to say or read “exactly the same.” Isn’t it redundantly redundant to say “exact same” and “same exact?” Makes sense, right (see next paragraph on “sense”)? I’ve even heard professional news people and talk show hosts use those terms, and it burns me up every single time I hear it. Don’t they know better? Haven’t they gone to higher education institutions where English was a major? Were they not taught the rule (the one I can’t remember) to add “ly” to the word “exact” just as I learned it in the early 70’s? Wait – have they stopped teaching it – is it no longer a rule?

And folks, we make “sense” not “since.”

And please don’t end a sentence with the word “at.” I’ll let that simmer in your mind for a minute as you try to think of one….

And be sorry for someone’s “loss” not “lost.” If I see another post on Facebook with “women” preceded by “a” I am going to scream! “Woman” is singular; “women” plural.

“Mine” should never have a(n) “s” unless it’s in reference to coal mines or the like, but when saying “mines” as in showing possession, it’s just wrong. Drop the “s” and say “It’s mine.”

We’ve gotten so comfortable with shortcuts that we’ve also forgotten every dang contraction rule we ever learned as kids. “Should’ve” is short for “should have” and should never ever be confused with “should of” – there ain’t no such thing and y’all grown asses should know better! That may be how you say it, but it darn sure ain’t how you spell it. I’ve always taught my kid this rule from the moment she learned to read, write, and spell – “if you say it wrong, you spell it wrong!”

And finally, I sometimes still get confused when it comes to using “has” and “have.” I look for the squiggly line underneath the word when it’s used incorrectly or sometimes I look up the correct way to use both, but like I said in the beginning, these are just a few of my pet peeves. Now, don’t get me wrong, I make grammatical errors all the time – my writings are not error free, including this one. No matter how many times I edit, edit, edit, before posting, it’s guaranteed I’ll find something that should have been corrected. I don’t write in a King’s English kind of way, but at least you can understand what I’m sayin’ – I’m just sayin’….

Happy Belated Birthday, Detta!


About T. Anthony-Horton

If you know me, you are very much aware of how I truly enjoy writing - because after all - it is my thang. If you are unfamiliar with me, welcome to my wonderful word of me. I have one book published, "Office Antics & Sexual Liaisons", and I am actively working on the sequel. I humbly appreciate all who have purchased and read my 1st creation (even if you read it without purchasing, you have entered my mind and got a sense of my writing style). I always welcome all feedback; positive, negative, indifferent - doesn't matter - makes me a better and more conscientious writer - all I ask is that you not be disrespectful. I can be sarcastic, comical, sensitive, informative, and overly descriptive (lol) as I've been told. I'm cool with all that, and to those who are not into my style of prose, I get that too. I still have two other books in my head that should've been on paper a long time ago - what?! - I do have a life y'all! So stay tuned for the sequel, which is tentatively titled, "After the Antics". In the meantime, continue to follow my blog and tell someone about it. I love you for readin' my writin'. Peace!

21 responses »

  1. Good stuff! “Sorry for your lost” makes me cringe every time!

  2. I am in total agreement and may I just add (while we’re on the subject) that supposibly is NOT a word…it’s SUPPOSEDLY PEOPLE. It should not bother me so much but those people that use it need to be slapped.

  3. Your views are absolutely correct and valid. This really gets under my skin also. What i cannot believe is the fact that some people actually take a lot of pride in ignorance of the improper usage of the English language! If you are a Mac user, there is a nifty little feature called a dictionary that’s available by pressing F12 on your keypad. Microsoft Word, Pages,etc. include a spell check and…(drum roll please) grammar check. The tools that are easily available to each of us are not being used to their fullest extent.

    I once heard that if you were to read aloud what you already wrote and it doesn’t sound right, then it probably isn’t.

  4. Would you believe that the condom had a crack in it?

  5. Thanks for the invite, Tillie. I wish people would use spell check more and please proof read 3 times.

  6. I think everyone should write a book. Keep a dictionary and keep spell checker in view. I hate to see mistakes and I try to help but people aren’t receptive. I see (your) for (you are) when it should be (you’re). They are here, not (their) here. There are some that are acceptable like “How many female priests? Answer: Nun.

  7. English major reporting for duty!Don’t get me started on the correct use of apostrophes! “Fathers” (more than one) is NOT the same as “Father’s” (that robe belongs to my Father). And, since it is June, the month of graduations and weddings, when did we start spelling “congratulations with a “d,” i.e., “congradulations”–I’ve seen it, yes, I have. And I cringe every time. And if I hear one more allegedly educated person say “ideal” when they mean “idea” I may just lose it altogether! Once again, Tillie, you’ve struck a chord, and I am humming along!

    • Judith, I know that’s right; although I haven’t seen the “congradulations” error, I just shake my head at that one. All these shortcuts are dummying us down and it’s such a shame because that what the kids are being taught at home.

  8. Please allow me to say, (comma punctuation is my thing) your English teacher would be proud.

  9. damn girl, maybe you should have been an English teacher. but I get you.

  10. Girl, You are on a roll. Thank you for the early English lesson. Great job!


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