Friday, March 25, 2011

Grammar & Spelling Tips for Today:

1. Definitely. I don't know about you, but I've seen about 57,321 ways to butcher this word (OK, I'm exaggerating. It's called hyperbole, folks. Learn to love it). Bloggers and Facebook friends, let's all remember: there are are a FINITE number of ways to spell this word. If your version of definitely doesn't have "FINITE" in the middle, then it's incorrect.

P.S. If you spell it "defiantly" then spell catcher will not catch it. Because defiantly is another word. Not the word you wanted, but definitely a real word.

2. Voila. It's definitely "voila"; definitely not "Wallah". Please. Voila is a French word meaning "There!" or "Behold!" My French dictionary lists pronunciation this way: vwah-LAH. When you type "Wallah", it makes my eyes bleed and French grandmas cry. So stop.

3. YourYou're. Your is possessive. Your blog. Your status. You're is a contraction for you are. You're encouraged to use the correct word in your status updates. Thank you.

4.To / Too / Two. To can be used as a preposition. To can also be used as an infinitive with a verb ("I need to study Fourth Grade Grammar again.") Too is a synonym for also. It can also mean "excessive". ("I am too tired to correct your paper right now.") Two is a number. (One, two, three...) The most common mistake I see is using "to" when the blogger (facebook-er, twitter-er, etc.) meant to say "too". Yes, I know they're all pronounced the same way. And yes, I've typed the wrong one on occasion (sometimes my fingers are faster than my brain). At least double check before making this mistake on something permanent like a scrapbook page or birth announcement.

5. Their / There / They're. Their is possessive. (As in: They neglected grammar on their blogs.) There indicates place. If you are there, then you are not here. "They're" is, once again, a contraction. They're really starting to annoy me now. We'll have to save the "it's / its" discussion for another day.

Frustrated by the vagaries of  English? Here's a poem called "The Chaos" for your enjoyment.


Amy said...

How funny! These drive me crazy too, although I am guilty of your/you're and their/there typos quite often. But they are typos! Really!
Where I could really use a tutorial is on punctuation. Particularly use of quotations. I make a mess of those. Regularly.

silly eagle books said...

Okay, so I write blog posts in my head sometimes (never get around to writing them for real), but seriously, this is the exact post I was writing in my head the other day after seeing a blog post with the word "peek" used instead of "pique". (Someone was trying to "peek my interest"--but instead just got me writing a crazy blog post in my head...)

Voila was number two on the list--I've seen enough "wallahs" to make my eyes bleed, too! (That was my favorite line in this post, by the way.)

Thanks for this. You made me smile. And also, I wanted to say that I love that story of your daughter covering up her scantily clad Egyptians! So sweet.

silly eagle books said...

Oh, I should also mention that I always misspell "definitely", but your "finite" hint is just what I needed to keep it straight! Thanks!

Julie Munroe said...

My favorite line was about the French grandmas. Oh my goodness. :)

Karin said...

Love the phrase, "Makes my eyes bleed." My daughter commented to someone on facebook, "Milo's barking makes our ears bleed." I've seen a number of bleeding body parts today!

Spelling and grammar errors fairly jump off the page at me! I find it interesting, however, that we usually know what is meant by reading the whole context.

oh amanda {impress your kids} said...

Ahh, Voila is the best! I never write it Walla...but I usually pronounce it (in my head) as Scuttle on The Little Mermaid. *sigh*

Vicky said...

I sooooooooooo agree with you! Don't think they "make my eyes bleed" but I totally cringe when I see people using the incorrect spelling of these words! DEFINITELY a pet peeve of mine, TOO! :D Great post!

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