Good advice and thanks for the last paragraph. Thank goodness for Google! It sounds like they are talking about you instead of to you. Thank you!!! Which has led me to always be the office proofreader. They say if you teach a man to fish… Still working on that one. Thanks for the post. That is precisely my story. I never learned the proper rules of grammar, but I can catch errors quickly and efficiently. I did learn the rules of grammar — Latin grammar. Well I was using some bad grammer it seems, and I thaught my English is above average.
Thanks for enlightening me. I, too, learned my grammar and writing abilities by becoming an avid reader as soon as I could handle chapter books! That said, you missed one. If I am not sure about the correct grammar I will do a search for it. There are online dictionairies a plenty! Great points!! These are definitely the most common grammar mistakes I see. My favorite is when someone is trying to write a convincing argument against someone else and their text is riddled with errors.
Your nuts. Hope I can remember it always. I love it! Did something change or am I confused? Maybe this has been covered already but there are so many listings here I may have missed it. Also, any takes on either vs. Love this post! My sense of right and wrong writing has come from my voracious reading habit. If anyone asks me what a verb is, I actually have to look it up in the dictionary. I really look forward to our working together.
I really look forward to us working together.
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It shows me that the person really looks forward to how we work together as a team. I am hoping I have found a place to get some grammatical help…. If on tomorrow is correct please explain to me. But in the grand scheme of things, since so few of these people know the difference, nobody cares. Brian, After reading this, I checked over my latest blog post to find several Dangling Participles! My old English teacher would have made me sit in the corner for such a grave error. I say keeping it to five is very hard, nigh impossible. The list could include almost every word with same pronunciation and different spelling.
By the way, did I use the double and single quotes properly? I find that this creeps up nearly daily in some post somewhere in my daily internet travels. O, and I paid attention. It is a sad state of affairs for the English language when most University students cannot differentiate between a possessive word and a contraction. Am I just being a snob? What do you do, if anything, in situations like this? There is no such thing as FOR free. Sometimes I feel all those high marks I received in English class have clearly gone out the window.
I know I make mistakes on a regular basis. I need an editor…. Poor spelling and grammar shows that people have never read a book in their lives. Many modern university students make these mistakes, as universities are no longer hubs of knowledge. Wrong : One of my friend, one of his colleague Correct : One of my friends, one of his colleagues. Americanisms from English people in their writing drives me crackers.
Reading emails from my ex-pat friends does not stir this emotion in me at all. Now that I am back in the UK, when one of my English colleagues writes to me that they have a sales inquiry oh, I can feel the hairs on my neck coming up already. Far be it for me to criticise or is that criticize? I found this excellent series from Bristol University in the UK.
It has very easy to follow exercises and focusses on the basics. Nice post. It also seems to be one of the most common mistakes people make when writing. If we said or wrote George and me, or me and George, we would have gotten a smack on the side of the head. We had to put the names of the other people first and then add I. If the present rate of educational skill attainment continues its downward spiral much longer — grammar, spelling, use of correct word, and other language details will not matter — because no one will know the difference.
Except, of course, the rest of the world! You get the idea. Great idea, Gordon. Texting English is being written more and more often as those affected forget whatever they may have known. And voters! Good night. I have wanted to write my own blog posts and guest blog posts for a bit of time. Just reading your articles has made significant improvements for my self confidence as a blogger. I love the dangling participle example on the rotting brother. Ironic indeed. Anyway, I will proceed with the read through now. Another thing that really makes you look like an idiot: mistaking copywriting the act of writing copy, particularly marketing and sales copy with copyright the legal protection.
The biter bit! I will confess that, while I know the difference, I have been known to typo that one from time to time. We all look like idiots on occasion. Swabi few observations made 1. Grammar spelling 2. Anyways is a slang 3. Jeevan Stephen hahahaha… Thanks for the correction, but as i mentioned earlier that my english is really bad, one of the reason behind this is that its not my mother tongue. It should be one of the reasons. English is not my mother tongue but has now become the source of my bread.
Jeevan Stephen hahaha, i wish i had a teacher like u you so my english would have been far more better than it is now… tnx again for the correction. Well I created an article on my blog posts using google translate for grammatical assistance, whether it looks good or bad? Perhaps too many words that is not quite right on my blog that sentence in the article. Hopefully the above tips can I learn it well. I just happened upon this post and just wanted to say that I share your experience of reading developing my grammatical abilities.
Good post! I also would like to add that I do agree that these grammatical mistakes should not be called mistakes but be called errors. Thank God and thank you for this article. I am about to write the 50 mistakes you should NEVER make in the English language and there will be a few that you have covered here and a few more that drive me insane.
Please provide the link on completing the 50 mistakes. You might want to add one more. Spelling errors may be eliminated by using spell check.
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Spell checks often do not catch errors if the wrong word is chosen, however. This has led to common writing errors such as advice instead of advise, loose instead of lose, and there instead of their. Describe your strategies that ensure you will not make these kinds of mistakes. You wanna know what drives me batty? Too bad. Now, pick my post apart for errors.
I think 1 for me is too, two and to. Seriously, how can people make this mistake?! We must take care of students to learn how to avoid these errors, I saw many writers made these errors in their posts, thanks for this nice post. Duly Noted. Okay, I read up to comment , and then decided to comment. There are comments with unintentional grammatical errors. Is it only me, or is that driving anyone else insane?
I also learned these rules from frequently speaking, but mostly reading English. I always fall over with affect and effect. Thanks a lot for this. Brian, I like the part about asking the wife. I use my better half to comment on the emotional tone of a piece. What a great list! The comments that follow are quite telling. Then my friend has suggested me some good methods that i want to share with you all.
If you love to listening to music then put you headphone and start listening English songs. Hope this method will really help you out! How about this one. This bit of linguistic butchery seems to have gained ground over the last few years. Drives me crazy. Could I have said it any better ,NO. I am an active blogger and a reader , and I realize that bloggers should write as if they are talking to people ,not like Shakespear.
Good article and tips. Amazing that people make these mistakes. The one word that constantly bugs me is when people mix up lightning and lightening. It seems to be pretty common, and so annoying.
It is true that one looks dumb committing the first four errors, but I place them more in the category of typos. I know the differences between the pairs. Dangling participles, on the other hand, indicate a situation where I think I am saying what I mean. The first three really do bug me a little too much.
Like you, I never learned the rules. However my mother, a former teacher, consistently corrected me so in defense I learned to recognized bad grammar. I have become a bit of a martinet about it. All 5 of these are big ones for me, but you have to admit that seeing 5 is often good for a chuckle.
Spelling and grammar errors like these jump right off the page at me. I have unsubscribed to some blogs when the writing is poor, even if the content is not bad. The errors can be so distracting that you miss the message. I imagine the writer wants a flabby, loose body. I think I love you! Thanks mate! I have a good concept to start a new blog.
Do to my poor grammar, first want to learn some lessons, when I tried accessing in Google found your post. Very useful dude. You let your horse loose in the field and lose your shirt at the casino! You simply do not loose your shirt in the casino. Very off putting. The first one is a run-on sentence. The second one is grammatically correct. But the best way to say this would probably be:. Finaly an article that ALL bloggers, journalists, and even those that email their supervisors need to read. Most of the general use email and word doc programs have spell and grammar checks — use them please!
My pet peeve, however, does not detract from my enjoyment of your blogs, Brian. Long may they shine! It happens with blogs of every size. But thanks for being bugged on our behalf. But other times, mispellings can give your writing a fresher sponatenous feel, rather than a terse essay and stuff. Here is the problem: when I visit a snazzy looking blog with some great stuff on the topics of writing and copywriting, I do not expect to see silly grammar errors.
Is it that bloggers are just becoming lazy and careless with their grammar? Or is that following proper grammar is increasingly becoming overshadowed by the need to express a point in a conversational manner? These 3 errors are so common that I find myself making the mental correction in my mind as I read some blogs that consistently make these grammatical mistakes. Actually, Affect vs.
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Effect is not such an error. They can be used interchangeably and often are. For example: Working hard to effect change…. I learned the same way as you! I lived in a small town, and apparently I cleaned out the local library when I was in grade two. We had to travel to the nearest urban center, a 40 minute commute. Luckily my parents were willing to make the trip. There should be a literary license. You should prove yourself able to do the basics before you besmirch public forums with your poorly formatted drivel.
I found this post refreshing. I am often guilty of these same errors, but I am usually aware of them when I am writing. It has worked for me. Love this post and will certainly share! It still makes me cringe! TO EVRYWON on purpose : Read this and let it soak into yor brains: Grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of sentences, phrases, and words in any given natural language.
The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics, and pragmatics. Linguists do not normally use the term to refer to orthographical rules, although usage books and style guides that call themselves grammars may also refer to spelling and punctuation.
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I would also like to add, how does After rotting in the cellar for weeks, modify my brother brought up some oranges? And the same for this one. Great to hear you had no formal training in grammar Brian. And that you had the courage to admit it. So does this mean your wife gave you these five tips? If reading all of the comments after reading the post is an indication of a great article than you have a great one here.
I love this. I know my own grammar could use improvement and finding a blog like this is one is a step in the right direction. Real points, Brian. Both of these can legitimately be verbs and both can be nouns. Affect as a noun is often used in psychology as an emotion or desire. I could relate with what you said about not knowing the technical reason something is wrong, but you can still fix it from the extensive experience you have both reading and writing. I currently live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In addition to my blogging activities, I am very active with a group of English speaking Argentinians.
They are constantly asking me to correct their grammar in both writing, and in speech. Sometimes they seem to know more about the language because they have studied it so extensively.
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For example once i tried to help my friend study for her English exam. After about 20 min of her explaining to me the different parts of a sentence, I felt a lot dumber needless to say. I did however find a grammatical error in here book…So at least i had that going for me. Oh, I hate to admit it, but this is one of my pet peeves. I gave up correcting family and friends 25 years ago. Ah, well, probably more important things in life, but it still bugs me a LOT. This post serves as a constant reminder from now on.
Those are great points. The have a really bad affect? I forget who it was, Hemmingway? It is so true! Jargon is just so easy to slip into, and you can lose your readers in a flash. You go over a hill. Bulleted is not a word. Oh, no. Now you will remember me as James, the Bullet Head, who brought this to your attention. As a non native speaker of the English language this site gave me valuable information and links. Even if somebody reaches a good level, there is always a possibility to train and improve. Also, double spacing after a period is no longer correct.
I may age myself by saying so, but this concept is new for me and will take a little getting use to. Yes, yes, yes! That drives me crazy, too. I am afraid to go through my content and correct all of the mistakes that might be lurking for everyone to see. Hopefully my content is enough to make them see through it! I linked this site to my blog for my readers. They will need this information if they read my blog!
Thanks for all of the help. If you take the time to think there should be no reason to make these mistakes. Proof reading is the cure but how many out there actually do that :. Orientate and orient. I know the former is now accepted usage but it rankles me as much as irregardless.
Orient or Orientate? Sometimes people in their speech will form an imagined verb from orientation and say orientate. At best, orientate is a back-formation used humorously to make the speaker sound pompous. The correct word is the verb orient. Orientate is more widely accepted in the U. Thank you for this fantastic educational and interesting posting. Also, thank you to the hundreds of responders! So many of the errors mentioned annoy me as well and I am encouraged that so many, like myself, are trying to improve.
Those who have come from another country and are working hard to speak and write properly are to be commended! The big concern with this is the question of how our children and their offspring will be speaking and writing in years to come! I find the negative possibilities of this perception very troubling! I therefore urge all others who care about maintaining our beautiful language, to join in doing all we can to learn and to take the time to make corrections! I totally agree. I too learned to write from being able to read at an early age and being a voracious reader at that and could not explain how I fixed grammatical errors.
Brian, this is such a simple yet brilliant piece! Some of my English teachers have used them interchangeably. But are dangling particples a type of misplaced modifier. In other words, does one fall under the other? Or are they two distinct errors? You know what makes a speaker look less than educated? To drive the point home, ic ne cann noht singan each nay kahn noh-cht sing-gone. I think I might print these out and stick them on my wall.
I just type faster than I think sometimes. Thanks for the reminder. These mistakes are always at the top of my fingernails on blackboard mistakes. The one you left out: Where is it at? When bloggers talk about editorial calendars and other such things, I want to tell them to start with a writing class. Punctuation is not based on whimsy—did you sleep through all of your high-school grammar classses? GREAT post. I am wondering if this is prevalent only in American-English. Your post script makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Thanks for the reminder! Sometimes we can get carried away with our intense desire to share what we know that we forget the medium by which we are sharing it. More power! Do the effects affect your listeners effectively? Or are they merely ineffective affectations? I am non native speaker of the English language — and I learned so much from this site — Thank you. The dangling participle is a very interesting error. I am sure I have made such an error before in the past without even knowing it. I agree with Yves. Our English class was very strict and all of us have pretty much mastered basic grammar.
Yes, all 5 of the common mistakes are basic grammar. I, like most people, tend to do this mistake!
These are the basics, folks. Thanks for the blog, nonetheless. In my own speech and the speech of others. Great points. I see these mistakes made so many times across the web. Great post for non native English writer like myself I hope myself word was wisely used here, Learned it for another post of yours. The Effect and And Affect thing always makes me dizzy. I hope I will sort this confusion soon enough. On my blog, I write pretty extensively about the reasons why. BUT I also believe that you should break the rules only for a good reason.
I totally agree about the first four rules here. No excuse. If you break these, you just look ignorant. People speak with dangling participles all the time without causing confusion. People have logical brains and they automatically understand what is really being modified. Sometimes, the sentence truly is confusing. Otherwise, dangle your participle away.
This is funny. I have no vested interest in sales of this book, except that it could improve the day to day and business writing of anyone who reads it. And that would make me happy. Also, use real quotes and apostrophes correctly! Those marks are used for inches and feet in writing only. They are a lingering result of switching from mono spaced typewriters to typesetting on computers. Also, this comment system automatically converts inch marks to close quote. Paradoxically annoying.
I thought the space before and after would prevent that. Grammar mistakes that drive me up the wall: Your not stupid. I want to loose weight. I want to loose wait. I cant believe your going to sit there and right that. And none of those mistakes up there were accidental. But I just killed myself writing those atrocities. Loose women suitably endowed , drive me up the wall.
I read a lot of creative services resumes in my job. Drives me nuts — and a fair amount of resumes to the reject pile. As more people are stepping into the digital age, we are forgetting the basics of common language rules. This is a great reminder for us all! Text editors and other writing tools have made people forget who to actually frame a grammatically correct sentence.
For many, turning off auto correct option will end in a catastrophe. Ah, yes — I love that you did this, because it makes me crazy, too! I completely agree! That is the worst one in my book, and you see it everywhere. I used to grapple with this problem in my school days until one fine day my english teacher thought enough was enough and she gave me a full long one hour lecture on how to use it properly. We think it quite normal to spend quality time whatever that means discussing okay, arguing about grammar and editorial style.
Man, that was entertaining, those comments Kraked or is it Krakked? What a totally enthralling piece, thank you for sharing. Example: Are you pretending to be something you are not? By doing that, the person you were meant to be will never come out of hiding. The truth will set you free! Be responsible by taking the power, not waiting around for someone else to take the power over you, to fix you. Oh these drive me insane!! People get these wrong all the time.
I can understand that non-native speakers may make mistakes, but its usually the native English speakers making these silly mistakes. You may find it amusing to know that I, like David Ogilvy, have never learned the formal rules of grammar. I live in hopes that this is true and not just my own justification for tuning out grammar at school! One is an adjective, the other is a verb. Loose means not tight. Lose means to misplace.
But they need to be used in the right places. Write the Right Word has recently been released by Apple. They are homophones and homonyms. There is no more confusion about those deceitful words. The two or more same sounding words are grouped together, along with their meanings. Find it at the Apple Store under education. Download link: Download ebook. Writers often stray from the reality of the legal system because we think we know about the law from watching television and movies and reading mystery novels.
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For example, you can go as an eco-tourist, as a cultural tourist, a scuba tourist, or a plain old beach tourist but there is good surf for those who like surfing and wind surfing. I read through this book because I wanted to see how it ended, but I was never strongly drawn in or intrigued by it. It is on the site of the old Newgate Prison, some of whose stones were used in the new building, and the Old Bailey judges still on occasion carry posies of flowers, with which their predecessors protected themselves against both gaol fever typhus and the prevailing atrocious stench.
The golden statue of Justice on top of the dome, not as usual blindfolded, but holding her sword and scales, was by F. Pomeroy, who also did the figures of the hooded recording angel flanked by Fortitude and Truth above the main entrance. The building is officially the Central Criminal Court, but is almost always known as the Old Bailey, which is the name of the street and comes from a rampart, or bailey, constructed just outside the wall of the City in Norman times.
The original Sessions House for London criminal cases was built in , at Newgate so that prisoners could be brought to it easily. The accused was placed as far away from the judges on the opposite side of the courtroom as possible, so much so that a mirror and a sounding board were installed to allow them to see and hear him clearly. The jury started off on either side of the courtroom, but from the eighteenth century they had a single box to the right of the accused, where they would confer and decide their verdicts in full view.