Grammar Rant

Wendy Lawton

Blogger: Wendy Lawton

I almost never address the issue of grammar because, sure as shooting’, I’ll make a handful of mistakes right here in front of you. But irregardless I’m feeling cranky so I’m going to list seven of my top cringeworthy examples of grammar and word use mistakes.

Irregardless— need I say more? Regardless is the word. Irregardless is fingernails on a blackboard.

Confusing Your and You’re— Is this the most common grammar mistake in written communication? I have to hold myself back from correcting those responsible for the signs that say, Your in for a Treat! or Turn You’re Engine Off Before You Pump Gas.

The Plural Apostrophe— Why is it that people feel the need to separate the singular version of a word from the plural? Every fruit stand in Central California seems to sell orange’s and artichoke’s and avocado’s. Can they charge more by throwing in an errant apostrophe?

The Self Conundrum— Since when did we start using myself in place of me or I? I have a feeling that people are so confused as to when to use I and me that they feel the safest route is to substitute myself. *buzzer* Nice try. The -self words (myself, herself, themselves, itself, etc.) are used in only two instances– to emphasize, like, “I picked out the color myself.” Or to refer back to the subject, as in “She spends hours preening herself.”

Nauseous or Nauseated?— I hear this way too often, especially by YouTube vloggers. “I’m especially nauseous today.” Oops! That does not mean what they think it means. It means they are especially sickening. If you are sick, you are nauseated. Sick vs. sickening.

Upgrading words— when simple seems too simple. I wish people would use the perfect little word instead of turning simple into simplistic or use to utilize or even orient to orientate.

Secret or Secrete?— I’m wondering if I am wrong here because I hear this pronunciation (or what I believe to be mispronunciation) frequently when listening to professional newscasters and commentators. It makes me gag every time I hear someone say that the “documents were secrete-ed on a hard drive.” Shouldn’t it be secret-ed? When I picture secretions of documents it makes me nauseous. Someone set the record straight, please.

Okay, your turn. Name a couple (or more) of your pet grammar gaffes or word use mistakes.