Top Three Grammar Pet Peeves

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?

2. It’s versus its
This is a general problem of differentiating between possessives and contractions.

1. Me, myself and I
Stop using “myself” in place of “me”. It doesn’t sound more proper. It’s simply incorrect!

Why not a top-ten list? Because that’s too many to remember. Three is enough. Let’s get these fixed first.

One thought on “Top Three Grammar Pet Peeves”

  1. Ahh, all are classics.

    3. Less and fewer: It seems almost nobody notices this mitake. Let’s take “10 items or less”. That sentence is INCORRECT! “Less” CANNOT be counted. The word in there is fewer. When to use less: “I couldn’t care less about the spelling bee this week”. In this case, “less” cannot be counted.

    2. It’s vs Its: It seems people are extremely confused probably because the apostrophe, which usually means a possession. For example: “John’s car was shamshed up by holligans”. However, in this case, the grammatically correct in a possession sentence would be “its”. For example: “The family lost its car because a gang of holligans stole it”. “It’s” is a contraction of “It is” or to a lesser extent, “It has”. For example: “It’s not fair that Jaime has a better house than me” or “It’s been a good day at Disneyland”.

    3. Me, myself and I: Common. First, we’ll overview me. Uneducated people often use “me” when they’re supposed to be using “I”. For example, it’s not “Jaime and me went to the nightclub”, but rather “Jaime and I went to the nightclub”. However, educated people know that this use of me is incorrect. They will often replace it with “I” and “myself”. For example: The contract had to be signed by Patricia and I/myself”. It’s supposed to be “me”. People often use me for myself. For example: “I gotta get me a new television”, but the grammatically correct version is “myself”. “I have to get myself a new television”. Here’s a helpful hint: When in doubt of me/I, take out the other person and see if it makes sense. You wouldn’t say “Me am going to the nightclub” but “I am going to the nightclub”. You also wouldn’t say “The contract had to be signed by I” but “The contract had to be signed by me”.

    Here are other pet peeves:
    1. You’re and Your
    2. There’s repalcing There are
    3. Due to the fact that vs due to and because
    4. So replacing very
    5. Could care less
    6. They’re, their and there
    7. Who and Whom
    8. Got replacing have
    9. Relaxed pronunciations
    10. The mispelling of grammar

    And much more…