Anyone who knows me knows I’m a stickler for grammar/spelling, etc. I confess one of my major pet peeves is poor grammar—perhaps because it’s something we all learn in elementary school and because writing is one of the primary ways we present ourselves to others. It can be a horrible first impression if you can’t grasp the simplest of rules. I’d love to take this opportunity to go over the most common/glaring mistakes.
Lesson 1: Your & You’re
Your denotes possession, i.e. “I love your sweater.”(think of his, hers, its, theirs–these all denote possession without using an apostrophe!!)
You’re = you are. The apostrophe alerts you to a missing letter, the “a.” For example, “You’re going to the movies with me tonight.” In the same vein, it’s = it is.
Lesson 2: To, Too, and Two
To is a preposition, i.e. “We are going to the mall.”
Too means also, i.e. “She likes pink, too.”
Two is a number, i.e. “We have two daughters.”
Lesson 3: Should have
I swear if I read one more thing that says, “I should of studied more.” That makes ZERO sense. It should instead read, “I should have studied more.” Of is a preposition and doesn’t belong in that sentence. Period. End of story.
I will have to ponder on some more and add them later. Or feel free to submit your own!
I realize some people think this is really silly, but if I was trying to hire someone for a job and saw mistakes like these on a resume, cover letter, etc., I’d run the other way. It amazes me how some people got through elementary school, high school, and college without ever fully comprehending these basic rules….although I did work in the Millsaps Writing Center and we were encouraged not to correct students’ grammar errors. I think the general consensus was it was a waste of our time, and if those people didn’t know their grammar by then, they would never learn it at all….