User-generated content is a wonderful thing. However, it does unearth a plethora of bad grammar. Even worse, poor grammar is showing up in trusted sources such as the news. I remember when English teachers would strongly recommend reading the newspaper on a regular basis to improve your grammar and writing. Sigh.
Following are three of the most common grammar errors that I see and hear. They make the top of my list because they should not happen on such a regular basis and their prevalence forces me to occasionally stop and think about whether or not they’re actually incorrect. Oh, the horror!
In the spirit of code re-use, I’m not going to rewrite what has already been written but link to resources instead.
3. Less or fewer
Can they be counted or not?
- Wisdom from the Grammar Goddess: The Appropriate Use of Less and Fewer — Diane Sandford
- less, fewer: The Columbia Guide to Standard American English
2. It’s versus its
This is a general problem of differentiating between possessives and contractions.
- It’s “its”! — Craig Kaplan
- Dr. Grammar – Frequently Asked Questions: Its or it’s? — DrGrammar.org
1. Me, myself and I
Stop using “myself” in place of “me”. It doesn’t sound more proper. It’s simply incorrect!
- Dr. Grammar – Frequently Asked Questions: Me, Myself or I? — DrGrammar.org
- Test yourself: Me, Myself, and I: What’s the Difference? — Writing911.com
Why not a top-ten list? Because that’s too many to remember. Three is enough. Let’s get these fixed first.