Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Write It Right!

If the Grammar Police was an actual organization, I could easily qualify for Chief!  One of my biggest pet peeves is the use of improper grammar on signs, in books and other media, and even in speech.  English is a complex language, it's true--but not so complex that we can't take the time to learn to use it properly.  The following are some of the most common errors that I feel deserve to be 'ticketed' by the local Grammar Cop:

1.  Offense:  I SEEN
     Correct:   I HAVE seen or I SAW
2.  Offense:  Should OF or could OF 
     Correct:   Should HAVE, could HAVE, should've or could've
3.  Offense:  COULD care less
     Correct:   COULDN'T care less
4.  Offense:   ALOT
     Correct:    A LOT
5.  Offense:   IRREGARDLESS
     Correct:    REGARDLESS
6.  Offense:   LAY down
     Correct:    LIE down
7.  Offense:   MISTAKEDLY
     Correct:    MISTAKENLY
8.  Offense:   Do you GOT
     Correct:    Do you HAVE
9.  Offense:   SUPPOSABLY
     Correct:    SUPPOSEDLY
10. Offense:   I DONE (this or that)
      Correct:    I DID (this or that)

Another frequent offense is the misuse of "I" and "me" in a sentence.  For example, "Joe and ME went to the store" or "This is a picture of Joe and I."   How do you know when to use 'me' and when to use 'I'?  Here's a simple test to keep you on track:  Eliminate the proper noun from the sentence.  In other words, in these examples, take out the name 'Joe'.  Would you say, "Me went to the store" or "This is a picture of I?"  No, you wouldn't!  Therefore, the correct way to write or say these sentences is, "Joe and I went to the store" (I went to the store) and "This is a picture of Joe and me" (This is a picture of me).  Get it??

As writers, we need to take care to use proper grammar not only in our speech, but ALL of our writing tasks as well.  What other grammar offenses have you found?  Which ones would YOU ticket?  Let me know in the comments!


  1. Great post - and I especially enjoyed the "I/me" section.

  2. Thanks, Bob! I appreciate your support.