Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

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Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Fate Flyer on Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:44 am

I'm sure most of you here have little pet peeves when it comes to reading the posts of others in your role-plays. Just because someone is an excellent and compelling writer doesn't always necessarily mean they are the best speller or the best at grammar. So, we come across things from time to time that just, well, make us cringe! So, what little (or big) errors do you notice that drive you crazy?



Let's see... Here are a couple that I can think of off the top of my head. Well, there are more, but I'd like to see if anyone else points them out.

It's/Its
Many times, I see the word "it's" when it's really supposed to be typed as "its." I know that in the English language, we use an apostrophe to show possession, but that just isn't the case when it comes to the word "it," because if you use an apostrophe with "it," then it reads as "it is." Therefore, a sentence like "She liked its new collar," should not have an apostrophe, otherwise it would read as "She liked it is new collar." xD Nein! Das ist nicht sehr gut! (Sorry, I break into German at random times; just ask onenitedrive lol.)

The Colon (and The Period)
You know the colon -- this : little bugger. Yeah. He likes his space. He thinks he's like a period. Why? Periods get two spaces after them. Yep. Speaking of periods, it seems most people don't put two spaces between their sentences, but that's the right way to write! So, colons too get two spaces after them. I've never once seen anyone put two spaces after a colon though.

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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Lara on Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:32 am

I don't even put two spaces after a period... ^^;;

Your/You're ; There/Their/They're

Self explanatory, really. I hate it when people don't use the right form of either of these. Honestly, it's so easy to tell them apart, too. >.< To me, at least.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Ragter the junior greeter on Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:27 pm

Quite frankly, for me it's..

[b]Yours(right way)/Your's(wrong way)]/b]

I didn't even know yours was the right way until Firefox told me it was, but if it was your's that was right, it would read as your is, doesn't make sense, does it? As for possession, it's like its.

Btw Fate, I believe you do use it's when you can shorten it via it is while still making sense..

e.g. It's a bright, blue collar= It is a bright, blue collar.

I believe its is used for possession, right? in yours case though, it's the same either way...
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Stion Gyas on Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:34 pm

Mine's not quite a grammar error, but both of you have mentioned my pet peeves.

I hate it when people misspell grammar. Grammer is bad.

P.S. I don't double space after my periods, either. I have always been told that double spacing after periods is usually reserved for - for lack of a better word - professional pieces, and I'll save my extra spacing for those.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:21 pm

I double space my periods, but I've never heard of double-spacing colons before. Colons don't come at the end of a sentence: they're part of a sentence. Double-spacing is for the end of sentences. The thing is, I don't think forums register double-spacing. It seems to all become single spaces, even after sentences--which sucks.

Here's some more peeves.

Breath / Breathe
Breath is the noun. Breathe is the verb. Get it straight.

Lose / Loose
Lose is the verb. Loose is the adjective. Get it straight.

Nock / Knock
Nock is fitting an arrow to the bowstring. Knock is what hands do to doors or what knees do to each other.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Gadreille on Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:37 pm

I guess I have a lot of patience and understanding, or I'm just not that great a writer. It really doesn't bother me when people mess up a little bit.

The only thing that bugs me, I suppose, is lack of appropriate capital letters and paragraph structure. Nothing more horrendous than trying to read the English version of a Latin script...lol! Not to mention chat speak in character. Don't spell words wrong on purpose.

The only time grammatical errors bother me are when they're in a printed book. It just seems so wrong.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Silvan Arrow on Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:55 pm

All of the above drive me crazy, though I'm also guilty of not double-spacing after my periods. Hehehehe...oops... I'm currently beta-reading a story for someone on another website, and the biggest issues I have are with spelling errors (I see "minutes" misspelled as "minuets" all the time.) and using the wrong verb tense. Also, I'm a stickler for correct comma use. I absolutely cringe when people either don't use commas where they are needed or commit the sin of the comma splice. But in all honestly, I try to be understanding and not fly off the deep end. After all, when people come to me for help, it wouldn't be fair to fly off the deep end.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:42 am

Another thing that annoys me is when people use modern expressions or references in a fantasy, medieval, period, or even sci-fi setting.

Don't refer to a modern movie or bit of pop culture when role-playing in a medieval era.

Don't use modern mannerisms and colloquialisms in medieval characters' dialogue.

Don't even compare something of the fantasy world to something of the modern world, except MAYBE in the OOC.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Fate Flyer on Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:53 am

Ragter the junior greeter wrote:Btw Fate, I believe you do use it's when you can shorten it via it is while still making sense..

e.g. It's a bright, blue collar= It is a bright, blue collar.

I believe its is used for possession, right? in yours case though, it's the same either way...
That makes sense because "it's" is short for "it is." It doesn't hold any form of possession there though. You aren't (and can't) say "It's blue collar." That would be a possessive statement, but you wouldn't put an apostrophe there, otherwise, obviously, it would read as "It is blue collar."


Ah, you guys have brought up some good ones! I suppose I just always have put two spaces after sentences, since when I typed in Word growing up, it'd always underline it if I didn't.

Oh yes -- it bugs me too when people don't understand the right places for commas. Most of the time, at least in my experience, I notice people leaving them out more and thereby create huge, run-on sentences. Something, in relation to commas, that also is annoying is when people use commas in place of periods. I'm rereading the Harry Potter books right now, and oh Lord, JK Rowling does this all the time! She'll even group 3 sentences together as one, simply separating them with a comma.

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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Anemone on Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:37 pm

*Reads the above list*

Crap... I've probably comitted all of those... repeatedly...

Personally, I'm irked by when people use first person in RP. It just doesn't read well. Little mistakes like 'an dthe' are common ones for me because my keyboard space bar is broken and transmits late.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:11 pm

Got another one:

Moral / Morale
Moral means righteous, like a person's "morality," or it can be a lesson, like "the moral of the story."
Morale is normally used for the mental state of an army or team, speaking of their willingness to fight or compete. As in a fighting group's "morale is low," or an army or a team might need a "morale boost."
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Weiss on Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:35 pm

I had honestly never heard of spacing twice after a period. This might have to do with the fact that my Language Arts classes were all taught with the rules of PnP (pencil and paper) in mind, rather than computers, but that one is completely new for me. Thus, I apologize, but I never have and never will double-space after a period. The idea of doing so doesn't even make sense to me, and anything I can't agree with logically doesn't become part of my personal rulebook.

The use of ellipses falls into that category, actually. I've been taught that you should put a space after your ellipses, but there are many who insist that you should not. I decided that I would space when ending a thought or statement and not space when denoting hesitation or a pause.

Hesitation: "That's...not true!"
Punctuation: "I guess you have a point, but... Nevermind, I'll just have to deal with it."

I definitely despise the misuse of commas. Whether it's the overuse or the complete lack of use, it interrupts the flow and makes it hard for me to read without getting annoyed. While I support artistic license in literature, especially given my stand of not abiding by rules I can't agree with, commas have very specific and important functions. Since they're used so frequently and are so defined in their operation, the misuse of commas can be a huge downfall for what might otherwise be a literary masterpiece.

The only other thing I can come up with at the moment isn't really a grammatical error, per se. I just dislike when people are overly concerned with using fancy words even when they're out of context; or, for that matter, when people use copious amounts of 'poetic slop' just to make their posts longer or seem more exciting.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:50 pm

Have you ever read The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White?
It seems to possess inside it almost all the stuff we're talking about in this thread. It's the little book of awesome writing, with all these rules and guidelines put down on paper. When I found it, I was like, "All the stuff I already know about English, put down on paper for clear, easy reference!" and I went on my way happy and rejoicing with the book in my pack.

It talks a lot about principles such as comma use, brevity, and clarity. There's a list of common errors like {affect / effect} and {different than --> different from} (the latter was instrumental in making this book an all time favorite of mine).

I would say it's a must-read for any composer of English.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Stion Gyas on Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:55 pm

Weiss wrote:I had honestly never heard of spacing twice after a period. This might have to do with the fact that my Language Arts classes were all taught with the rules of PnP (pencil and paper) in mind, rather than computers, but that one is completely new for me. Thus, I apologize, but I never have and never will double-space after a period. The idea of doing so doesn't even make sense to me, and anything I can't agree with logically doesn't become part of my personal rulebook.

Well, if it helps any, double-spacing after periods most likely dates from the day of typewriters. The original typewriters didn't space letters and the like nicely -- like our lovely word processors of today -- and so typists were encouraged to double-space after periods to better differentiate between sentences. The habit just sort of... stuck.




History lesson aside, I dislike when writers don't follow my favorite rule ('Cause it's so catchy).

I before E except after C.

Receive, not recieve.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Fate Flyer on Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:44 pm

Oh, hm. I had always just assumed that most people knew to put 2 spaces after a sentence. I don't know why, but for some reason I just thought that people knew about it and just didn't want to do it. *laughs*


Oh! I thought of another grammatical error that really gets on my nerves: "alot." That is not a word. It never was a word. I don't know how it got so popular to put "a" and "lot" together as one, but I see it all the time now. I don't get it. You don't write "a bunch" as one word, so why write "a lot" as one?

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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Weiss on Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:17 pm

That may or may not have been an error derived from the similarity between "allot" and "a lot". Contrarily, it could also have developed simply because the words, when spoken, are so closely compressed rather than being clearly enunciated as separate words. If you say, "That's a lot of rice," it's more likely that a typical American will pronounce "uh lot of" rather than "a lot of". Since this enunciation allows the words "a" and "lot" to be spoken with seemingly no separation between them, it's easy to assume, if you aren't among the better informed or more literate members of society, that it's a single word.

Though I understand why it may have happened, it doesn't change the fact that I also can't stand seeing that type of obvious error. I suppose that would get filed into my pet peeve of despising slang in general, though. The complete creation of words is acceptable, in my opinion. For instance, I don't mind seeing the word "piece" used to refer to a gun. However, I dislike the mutilation of established terminology, up to and including Netspeak.

That reminds me, actually. Rouge / rogue must be the mix-up that irritates me the most, simply because I've played WoW, D&D, Ragnarok Online and other MMOs with the rogue class so often. I doubt I could count the number of times I've seen that sin committed. You would think, given that it's a 50/50 chance of choosing the right one, people might occasionally get it right accidentally, but I'm 99% certain that I've seen "rouge" used to refer to the class more often than the correct term, "rogue".

@Stion: I see. That makes sense. I suppose there are many instances where rules become outdated and unnecessary, though less frequently in grammar and general English than other fields like federal and state law, so perhaps they're no longer seen as a necessary part of the curriculum. I was actually curious, so I decided to go back and have a look at my Medical Transcription course materials to see if they stated the double-spacing requirement, since they seemed very stringent on grammar regulations. They didn't, so I'm guessing it's something that's been more or less phased out completely.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Fate Flyer on Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:32 pm

(I wish I could respond fully and in more detail, yet not only am I very tired, but it's also our bedtime, so excuse my trimmed response.)

That's a good observation, Weiss. I'm guessing that perhaps that's where "alot" got its roots, simply because, when spoken, the words are not enunciated properly.

I had to laugh out loud (literally) when I read your "rouge" and "rogue" comment. My fiance also played WoW, and his main was a Rogue. I told him what you said about the mistyping of the class, and he had to laugh as well. He said that, when he used to be involved on the WoW message board, he would read questions like "What is the best spec for a Rouge?" and people would respond with things like "Maybelline blush." Laughing I would also have bet my money that people would have gotten the spelling right more often than they do with the word, especially since not only is a Rogue a WoW class, but it's also the name of an X-Men character.

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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:44 am

'Rouge' is also more natural to type because of the placement of the letters on the keyboard. Razz You have to think a tiny bit more when typing 'rogue.' I'm sure that plays a significant part in the amount of errors.

I remembered another one.

apart / a part

This one irks me to no end! People use "apart" when they say "oh, I'm apart of that website, too!" Or "no matter what, you're apart of the Knights." Makes me cringe. *cringes and shivers at the same time* Shocked

'Apart' means 'not a part of,' people! 'A part' means it IS 'a part of.'
*pant, pant, grr, pant, whew*
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Kalaam on Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:23 pm

Fate, I respectfully disagree. "Its Blue Collar!" can be used in dialogue, as if someone is referring to something the person is hunting. It is not a complete sentence. With some of the leeway writers have, this is acceptable in dialogue. Not everyone speaks in complete sentences, because I know I don't all the time. Thus, a character could have legitimate grammar issues with their speaking.

Personally, the most annoying thing for me is conglomerated. It usually revolves around the improper use of capitalization, punctuation to end a sentence, and improper use of quotations marks. When put together, it seems some people's brains fall apart and do something along the lines of this.

bob says "i hate you... you should go die, and your dog too
bill says, 'go to hell"!

And then I die a little bit inside as the chainsaw revs up to eviscerate another idiot.

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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Ragter the junior greeter on Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:26 pm

Just thought of something else..

Then/Than

I believe then is the word used when referring to something time related

e.g. I went there, but then it started to rain.

Meanwhile, I'm not altogether sure what than is for, I would assume it's for when not referring to time.

e.g. She did that, rather than this.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Bird of Hermes on Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:31 pm

I absolutely can't stand when people type 'okay'.

Does anyone actually know what o.k. stands for?

Find out here: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/503/what-does-ok-stand-for

Now you know.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Dax on Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:46 pm

Weiss wrote:I had honestly never heard of spacing twice after a period. This might have to do with the fact that my Language Arts classes were all taught with the rules of PnP (pencil and paper) in mind, rather than computers, but that one is completely new for me. Thus, I apologize, but I never have and never will double-space after a period. The idea of doing so doesn't even make sense to me, and anything I can't agree with logically doesn't become part of my personal rulebook.

The use of ellipses falls into that category, actually. I've been taught that you should put a space after your ellipses, but there are many who insist that you should not. I decided that I would space when ending a thought or statement and not space when denoting hesitation or a pause.

Hesitation: "That's...not true!"
Punctuation: "I guess you have a point, but... Nevermind, I'll just have to deal with it."

I definitely despise the misuse of commas. Whether it's the overuse or the complete lack of use, it interrupts the flow and makes it hard for me to read without getting annoyed. While I support artistic license in literature, especially given my stand of not abiding by rules I can't agree with, commas have very specific and important functions. Since they're used so frequently and are so defined in their operation, the misuse of commas can be a huge downfall for what might otherwise be a literary masterpiece.

The only other thing I can come up with at the moment isn't really a grammatical error, per se. I just dislike when people are overly concerned with using fancy words even when they're out of context; or, for that matter, when people use copious amounts of 'poetic slop' just to make their posts longer or seem more exciting.

I know what you mean and I understand. However I must say that sometimes, for some people, it is very hard to know when to put commas or not. One of the reasons is that the use of the comma ranges so wildly from one language to another.

Take me for an example. I live in Montreal and Montreal is, probably unknown by a vast majority of people, the second largest french-speaking city in the world after Paris. I am therefore a bilingual. Then again I went both to a french school in my home town and an english one in California but I have to say; the comma is a sneaky little bugger!

The french language, in all of its complexity, majesty, sexiness, etc. has one respite from its crazy grammar rules; the comma. Basically the rule has about 9 or 10 rules (or more, it has been awhile) and that is very little for french.

For instance:
Hesitation: "That's...not true!"
Punctuation: "I guess you have a point, but... Nevermind, I'll just have to deal with it."
In french, that is a correct way to use the comma. Now unless any of you have read my posts, I am certain I have made mistakes with the comma.

I am not really sure what this whole blabbering had as a goal but I just thought it would be fun to share... and why the heck not, am I right? Smile

So while I am here, I thought I would add one of my hated grammar errors!

There and their/your and you're (That I see somewhat often) aaaaand which and wich, believe it or not.

I never know if the which/wich is a typo or an honset mistake... yet it drives me crazy nonetheless!
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:08 pm

Oh wow, now I know what OK means! xD

I didn't know "wich" was a word. :/
I always thought the mixup was which/witch.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Dax on Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:54 pm

Heh, that's the thing. 'Wich' is not a word. To be honest I have yet to see an error on anything confusing which and witch. The meanings are so different compared to other confusing homonymes.

Then again... the whole time I could of been tearing my eyes out for simple typo mistakes...
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Guest on Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:56 pm

I probably do some of the mistakes you're talking about, at least sometimes. I try not to. But as Dax said, the comma is actually use differently in different languages. That means I'm at a disadvantage since I'm Swedish. The comma isn't used nearly as much in Swedish and I don't think it has as many rules either.

I agree with a lot of what everyone else have said. I also confirm that double spaces after period comes from typewriters. As I've understood it, it's actually wrong to do that in professional writing nowadays.

The errors that irritate me the most are the capitalization errors and period errors. It's not that hard to put a capital letter in the beginning of a sentence and end it with a period.

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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by wakeangel on Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:48 pm


Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. No one is perfect. Improper use of grammar, spelling and punctuation bother me, but I overlook it as long as I know the person is trying. I just try to keep in mind that we all started somewhere. Just as I'm a better writer this year than I was last year, so too will they be with encouragement and practice. It's when I know someone is just being lazy that I get peeved.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by flopsy bunny. on Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:12 am

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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Blaze on Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:18 am

eh, i don't read ALOT. nonetheless,

i hate the confusion of it's and its.
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:23 am

ROFL The Alot! I'm going to remember that forever! xD
Thank you so much for sharing that, flopsy! Very Happy

I love it, alot, a lot! xD
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Kalon Ordona II
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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

Post by YenWen on Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:11 am

I hate when people don't know when to add an -er suffix to word or say 'more' before it. Hate hate hate hate hate hate hate. Especially when people say 'funner'. It makes me cringe and want to scream. It's not hard. If it sounds wrong, you're probably not supposed to say it.

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Re: Grammar Errors That Drive You Insane

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