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Merry
May 26th, 2008, 08:34 AM
...a contraction of (short for) IT IS (or less commonly IT HAS).

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone on the internet, including this forum, uses "it's" when the possessive pronoun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Possessive_pronoun) is called for.

Would you use an apostrophe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostrophe) in yours, ours, his, hers, theirs?

No? Excellent. They are all possessive, and so is ITS.

If it doesn't make sense to replace its/it's with "it is" in a sentence, then always use the possessive "its".

On its own, it's a small word, but its misuse is large when it's written, 'tis (http://www.word-detective.com/back-d.html).

lofter1
May 26th, 2008, 09:15 AM
ha ha, Merry ... one of your pet peeves, eh?

Now, if you can tackle some of the spelling irregularities :cool:

Eugenius
May 29th, 2008, 04:53 PM
Add to this list there they're and their, as well as your and you're (don't get me started on the horrible "ur"), effect and affect, and then and than

Jasonik
May 29th, 2008, 05:04 PM
I compliment the writers of this thread and complement your work.

pianoman11686
May 29th, 2008, 06:39 PM
Seems the most common ones have been covered. I'll add a few:

Weather and whether. (Yes, there are people who mix those up.)

Fewer and less. This one really annoys me: you use fewer when describing something that can be counted, and less when describing an amount.

"How'd you do on the exam?" "I did good."

While the above is grammatically incorrect, there is one situation where it's appropriate: if you're describing charitable work.

Led and lead. Led is the past tense of the verb to lead, but it sounds the same as the atomic element, lead.

Me and her went skiing. Him and I got along fine. They laughed at her and I.

Each of the above is incorrect. Should be:

She and I went skiing. He and I got along fine. They laughed at her and me.

I've found that the older I get, the first two mistakes are rarer, but the third one is more common. Seems the people who know it should be "I, not me" overuse the rule. I always say, imagine what it would be without the other person. Would you ever say, "They laughed at I?" No, because then you'd sound retarded.

ZippyTheChimp
May 29th, 2008, 10:24 PM
Principal and principle.

Alonzo-ny
May 29th, 2008, 11:32 PM
Unless you're an english teacher, writer or journalist, does it matter?

lofter1
May 30th, 2008, 08:09 AM
it do ^ if clarity and precision are of interest.

given that those are two aspects of good architecture then it seems, uh, fitting :cool:

Encideyamind
June 16th, 2008, 01:57 PM
Unless you're an english teacher, writer or journalist, does it matter?


Effective communication is the cornerstone of civilization.


I still make a few of these mistakes, for some reason it's difficult for me to grasp certain grammatical concepts.

Edit: As well as many spelling mistakes.

NYatKNIGHT
June 16th, 2008, 02:04 PM
My father gave me a little constructive criticism recently when he told me I had repeatedly used "convince" when I should have used "persuade". Good to know, and it's so obvious now.

Fabrizio
June 16th, 2008, 02:28 PM
I do quick e-mails but this is the really the only place I ever write in English. And I often go weeks with out having to speak a word of it. I haven't used English regularly in 25 years. And there are others on the board who do not speak Eng. regularly. So please have patience... and don't be shy about correcting us (er... me at least).

Encideyamind
June 16th, 2008, 02:29 PM
I don't mind being corrected, it is the only way to learn.

Alonzo-ny
June 17th, 2008, 10:46 PM
When writing many posts in a quick manner it's very easy to drop the apostrophe because everyone still knows what you mean. Plus when reading quickly you use the context and you know. Most people can read a whole sentence and understand it with letters misplaced within every word, so again, unless you are writing literature or making a point, does it matter?

Merry
June 18th, 2008, 08:06 AM
ha ha, Merry ... one of your pet peeves, eh?

Now, if you can tackle some of the spelling irregularities :cool:

I'm not sure there's really any excuse for typos and spelling errors on this board at least (differences in usage between the US and Britain/Australia for example not withstanding), since there is a built-in spell checker similar to Microsoft Word etc.

But, hey, if you're in a hurry and/or your brain works faster than your fingers, or perhaps the two aren't co-ordinated for some ;) reason, it's really no big deal. The results can be quite amusing.


When writing many posts in a quick manner it's very easy to drop the apostrophe because everyone still knows what you mean. Plus when reading quickly you use the context and you know. Most people can read a whole sentence and understand it with letters misplaced within every word, so again, unless you are writing literature or making a point, does it matter?

I was really just pointing out that its/it's misuse is probably the most common grammatical error in English and that, IMO, it's easy to fix.


And there are others on the board who do not speak Eng. regularly. So please have patience... and don't be shy about correcting us (er... me at least).

Of course, no problem. But it's always a good thing if people are willing to learn.

Ninjahedge
June 18th, 2008, 10:11 AM
The only time it ever really becomes a concern is when someone starts lowering themselves to calling others idiots (or some variation thereof) and, in the process, grace us all with their spelling and grammatical expertise......

Thing is, although I try to use spellcheck, it does not pick up things like "Its" vs "It's" because they both exist. Laud vs Loud, wear, where, and the occasional were can also get shuffled due to dropped keys, or even subconscious phonetic substitution and the spellchecker would never catch it.


Add to it the fact that some offices have such strict administrative rights, you can't install anything to anything w/o permission. The spellchecker on the site is a javascript applet that does not work on one of the offices I work at. So sometimes you all may be graced by MY readily apparent lack of spelling prowess. ;)

You can certainly be bugged by things like this, but sometimes you just have to realize that it really does not matter and you should not let it bother you so much.


I am telling myself that every day! ;)

Luca
June 18th, 2008, 10:39 AM
English grammar is simple enough to deserve correct usage. :rolleyes:

The spelling, of course, is insane but that's half the fun of it. :)

Don't get me even started on British pronounciation (crafted entirely around the cunning principle of foreign-baiting -- including "colonials" -- and unmasking foreign agents asking for directiosn to obscure villages in the provinces :D).

Nothing moves an Englishman to hilarity like an American tourist innocently not realizing that Leicester is pronounced "lester" (as opposed to "lay-cess-ter") :rolleyes:

Merry
June 18th, 2008, 11:53 AM
The only time it ever really becomes a concern is when someone starts lowering themselves to calling others idiots (or some variation thereof)

Which I didn't do, and never would.


Thing is, although I try to use spellcheck, it does not pick up things like "Its" vs "It's" because they both exist. Laud vs Loud, wear, where, and the occasional were can also get shuffled due to dropped keys, or even subconscious phonetic substitution and the spellchecker would never catch it.The its/it's misuse and the other examples cited are grammatical or correct usage related and not spelling errors. I didn't say the spell checker is perfect. It can aid in reducing typos and misspellings, but obviously not in other areas.



Add to it the fact that some offices have such strict administrative rights, you can't install anything to anything w/o permission. The spellchecker on the site is a javascript applet that does not work on one of the offices I work at.I don't access this or any other internet site for private use at the office and was therefore unaware that this was the case.


You can certainly be bugged by things like this, but sometimes you just have to realize that it really does not matter and you should not let it bother you so much.It doesn't bother me. I was just making an observation and wrote about it. And I'm glad if it's been of use to anyone who's interested. Equally, I understand that it isn't important to some people, but I disagree that it doesn't matter - to me.

Ninjahedge
June 18th, 2008, 03:10 PM
I know.

Thing is, if you let it bother you, it does not really change the situation, it only makes you unhappy while they still keep doing it.

Trust me, I am not saying you are wrong for being disturbed by it. A great many things bother me. Everything from squeaky fans, rattling, Tarzan grammar, illegal driving, rudness on the sidewalks (even when it has no direct effect or appelation to me).

And they DO bother me, but I came to the relization that all I am doing is getting bothered for nothing.

I still am, but hopefully I will get to the point where things like this do not hang on me so much.

Oh, don't even get me started on the overuse of "like" in a conversation!!!!

:D

popowich
June 18th, 2008, 04:02 PM
Other common mistakes that make my head hurt are:

There, Their, They're

Two, To, Two

Affect, Effect

-Raymond

Encideyamind
June 20th, 2008, 01:53 PM
*Too ;)

Merry
October 26th, 2010, 09:17 AM
http://gothamist.com/attachments/arts_jen/mtatypos1010.jpg

http://gothamist.com/2010/10/25/mta_typo.php

lofter1
October 26th, 2010, 10:25 AM
That ^ comes from the MTA.

Figures :cool:

Ninjahedge
October 27th, 2010, 08:06 AM
I speak two languages and i <I> find myself sometimes forgetting and mixing <up my> grammar....so i <I> don't mind when people correct me. But i"m <I'm> actually puzzled by the fact that English has words that sound the same but are spell <spelled differently> and mean some different- now <Now> can anyone tell me why?

Because of their roots.

The origins of many words in the English language come from many different sources, so there is more of a chance of different words having the same phoenetic signature. One example would be root and route.

Root - http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=root&searchmode=none - Proto Germanic

Route - http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=route&searchmode=none - Latin

But since language is usually what a bunch of people start calling the same thing after meeting with each other for a while, sometimes different groups will have similar sounding words for different things, or even different meanings for the same word (again, see "root"). All languages came from many people, and all languages have SOME crossover (althoughit is harder to corelate any semblance between words in some symbolic languages like Chinese or Japanese...)


Shoot, I just saw he was banned.


Durf. Ah well, I will still leave this here.