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17 January 2011 @ 09:42 pm
Grammar and Nitpicking II  
After reading entries on different communities, I have decided I have had enough of the blatant disregard of the most simple grammatical conventions. My English grammar education has been negligible; I'll be the first to admit that I don't know everything and that I do make mistakes. However, I have managed to pick up a few things.

Follows from Part I, funnily enough.

Thank you to barnaby_d and blasphemiliar for their suggestions.

4. Apostrophes.
Apostrophes are used for contractions or to signify ownership. Let me give you some examples.
Example one: An example of where it's used correctly as a contraction is the word "it's" in this sentence.
Example two: When I read my friend's dictionary, I learnt that the apostrophe in the word "friend's" is signifying ownership.

Basically, if you replace the apostrophe with "is", or it has a noun following, you've used it correctly; this means that phrases such as Open Monday's MAKE NO SENSE. Open Monday is? Open Monday's elephant? What are we trying to say here?

If the word that requires an apostrophe ends in the letter "s", for example lass, only the apostrophe is needed, not the "s". For example, The lass' grammar is perfect is a correct sentence. However, The lass's great! is not correct.

5. Mix-ups.
Two = the integer that is one larger than one.
Too = also. For example, I like grammar too!
"To" has several uses. One meaning is "in order to", for example, I learn about grammar to improve my English. Another usage is to indicate the infinitive form of a verb, for example, I want to write about grammar. The word also has other uses, including, The current time is quarter to eight, but they are more phrasal rather than exact definitions.

6. Comparatives and superlatives.
Comparatives are words which, oddly enough, compare two nouns; for example, His grammar is better than her or His eyes are more blue than her or I can type faster than you.
Superlatives are words which indicate that something is the supreme or at the end of a spectrum, for example, His grammar is the best or His eyes are the most blue or I can type the fastest. A superlative is "the most" [adjective].

Comparatives can be altered by words such as "much" or "far", for example, His grammar is much better than her or I can type far faster than you. However, superlatives cannot be qualified. They are already "the height" of something. An example that really highlights how ridiculous it is to qualify a superlative is the use of "unique". I am unique NOT I am very unique, or heaven forbid I am the most unique! WHAT?! You are the most singular object of your kind?

7 Misunderstood words.
Mortifying vs. terrifying.
Mortifying: causing to feel shame or chagrin or vexation; synonyms include embarrassing and humiliating.
I was mortified when you pinched my cheeks.
Terrifying: frightening or intimidating; synonyms include frightening and horrifying.
I was terrified when you came at me with a knife!

Simplistic vs. simple.
Simplistic: characterized by extreme and often misleading simplicity
I don't believe your simplistic views on love.
Simple: easy and not involved or complicated
Snakes and Ladders is a simple game.

Anxious vs eager.
Anxious: full of anxiety and disquietude; related to apprehension.
I get anxious when considering sitting exams.
Eager: a positive feeling of wanting to push ahead with something.
I am eager to see my girlfriend again.
I'm not actually sure about this one, because "anxious" has a secondary meaning of "desiring something", and so could be used in I am anxious to escape this sinking ship. My personal gut feeling is that eager would be used in moments of positive emotion, and anxious used in moments of negative emotion.

Affect vs effect vs affect vs effect
To affect (verb): to have an effect upon, to influence, to alter;
I am negatively affected by bad grammar
Affecting (noun): a display of emotion
I showed no affect when taunted with names such as "grammar Nazi".

Effect (noun): the result or consequence; also an impression produced
This pain I am feeling is an effect of terrible grammar; be warned - if you don't have passable grammar, your words will have little effect.
Effect (verb): bring about, cause to occur, achieve
I effected my success in English by improving my vocabulary.

8. Redundancy.
We work all hours, every day of the week, 24/7.
You work all hours every day of the week? You work all hours every day of the week? You feel the need to say the same thing twice in one sentence? Why?

9. "Lolspeak."
"Lolspeak" has its place: here. Sure, it can be funny at certain times. However, that place is not in everyday communication. Typing like this, dat looks cool whaddya doin 2nite?, makes you look, quite frankly, like an uneducated sleazebag. Oh!


To be continued at a later date. Please comment with whatever bugs you and I will add it to the list. :)
adrian_the_dorkadrian_the_dork on January 18th, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)

adrian_the_dorkadrian_the_dork on January 18th, 2011 12:11 am (UTC)
oh, and I cant fucking stand the their/there/they're mix up. ditto with your/you're. But you did cover all that already. anywho.

Jayden Rio Blue, Messanger of Godjaydenrioblue on January 18th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
Haha, thank you! :D

I'll do their/there/they're next time, along with should/shall. :)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Calvin and hobbesmagic_treehouse on January 18th, 2011 09:27 am (UTC)
I can't really say to much here as, even though I have an English degree, if I'm writing fast I can easily make one of these mistakes. And I still can't get my head around affect/effect, even though I get them right when I write!

The worst though is people who mis-use the word 'literally'. I had an email recently that said that my colleague's hands were 'literally on fire'. i checked. They weren't.

You've got to be careful not to be too restrictive of language and its rules though. If you stop it from evolving then it dies, just like Latin.
Jayden Rio Blue, Messanger of Godjaydenrioblue on January 18th, 2011 10:56 am (UTC)
This isn't so much for typos, because we all know those happen! It's for people that just make the same mistake over and over and don't know it. I don't know what the English education system is like where you're from, but I've NEVER learnt English grammar. It just hasn't come up in the curriculum. No exaggeration, most people my age that I know have never been taught apostrophes!

Ah! I'll add that to the list!

I definitely agree. I think that expanding vocabulary, new words and all that are important, and I'm not going to be the person who gets snitchy over the difference between "who" and "whom", or "of", "from" and "to" in phrases such as "different to", "separate from" or whatever. I'm not so big on punctuation - commas, hyphens, whatever, because I think that language should, for the most part, show a personal style in communication, speech patterns, etc. I just think there are some basic rules that most people have never had explained to them! Point 8: Redundancy is more a pet peeve than anything else.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Laytonmagic_treehouse on January 18th, 2011 11:05 am (UTC)
I don't remember being taught grammar either but I must have been at some point. Maybe when I was 11? By the time you get to 15/16 you're analysing prose and poetry and teachers assume that you already know how to write. My academic writing style developed right up to when I completed my Masters at the age of 25!

The one thing that I'm amazing that a lot of people have never cottoned on to is that language and an understanding of it is linked to intelligence. Writing standard English makes you look clever even if you're not! this applies more to spoken English actually. So why do so many people shond like douches?! Ha.
Jayden Rio Blue, Messanger of Godjaydenrioblue on January 18th, 2011 11:33 am (UTC)
It's definitely linked to how intelligent you seem, definitely! You're so right - it would actually be a good investment for people for their future to learn to speak and write decent English! But alas, I'm afraid in many circles it's either not cool or not available!

And on a different note, I love the icon!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Tombimagic_treehouse on January 18th, 2011 11:41 am (UTC)
On the up side, it allows us judgmental people to sift out the clever people quickly ;)

Haha, thanks. My love for Professor Layton knows no bounds!
hurricane rebecca: Arching/AnnaLynne McCordthebigdisaster on January 20th, 2011 02:01 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I fall prey to the whole "lolspeak" phenomenon, but not usually. I usually just use it in comments. You're hitting all my pet peeves! I love this post!!