However, it’s absolutely essential to know the rules before you can break them properly, and it’s just as necessary to be aware that there are few conventions that you just can’t disregard (correct usage of there, they’re, and their, for instance)
Wow, I love this post. You’ve managed to identify some of my pet peeves, including the lose / loose phenomenon. The application of strong grammar and spelling seems to be an elitist pass time these days, with more people seeing it as an irrelevance in this age of sms and email. Yet so many people do not realise the disasters in Texas payday car title loans clear meaning that can occur with the wrong word construction.
Brian I’ve got a question regarding the “different from” or “different than” issue. I teach English as a foreign language, and I’m British. I sometimes train students to take an exam called TOEFL (Test of English for Foreign Learners), which is an American exam. As a British person, I would never say “different than”, but this is the only accepted answer in the American TOEFL books, so I teach my students that it’s an Americanism. Am I wrong?
How about the use of words ‘fewer’ vs ‘less’? This makes me nuts and I see it all the time at work. ‘Which’ and ‘that’ seems to confound people as well…
What makes my teeth grind is when I hear journalists, professors, anyone say, “Quote unquote,” and then they quote the quote outside the quotation marks.
My “pet peeve” is the phrase “life AND death” when the speaker really means “life OR death.” Even the TV anchors get tis one wrong 90% of the time.
Sometimes I get hung up on a grammatical error and it kills my train of thought or rather, my creativity. I really enjoy your website.
Thank you for reminding us of these errors
“[…] Of course, blogging is more conversational than other forms of business communication, so you don’t necessarily need to obey the rules to the letter. Things like one sentence paragraphs, using “and” as the first word of a sentence or ending one with a preposition are all acceptable in the name of style. The Copyblogger has two excellent posts on grammar and spelling rules that you just can’t break without appearing stupid. […]”
I consider myself fairly well-spoken but as with anything, there is always room for improvement. I can’t believe what some people get away with these days on posts and in their e-books.
You know, I find it interesting that people who make these mistakes are Americans as in people who lived and studied there. Many of us who were tmar tests better. The people sometimes is that people tend to use phonetical type of spelling and that boggles me. I also was nerdy enough to be in spelling quiz bees ?? But then again, it depends on the education system. I have much more to learn…we all do, mine happens to be trying to work on run on sentences ;). My pet peeve is when people cannot spell correctly especially if it is supposed to be their mother tongue. Great job on this post, Brian. It is a needed info.
Wow, this is the most useful post I have read in weeks! Thank you so much and I’m looking forward to visiting you soon!
Wow. Talking about English classes… This post will save weeks of English grammar lectures in my country. ?? Excellent post, Brian!!
Too good…I completely agree and want to emphasize that it is not necessary for you to use complex English. Instead, you could use a simple English which would make more sense and look even more professional than the complex one (some times).