The more you are active on social media and spend time online interacting with people you get to see how messed up is the usage of English grammar! I have been part of a blogging story writing competition where we wrote and edited our stories in a team. While editing some of the chapters things that made me feel like banging my head were the poor knowledge and usage of grammar. Four of us in the team had divided between us the trouble of editing each and every chapter and thank god we did that. We were in fact the winners among some 20 odd teams! In case you want to read our sci-fi story click here for the complete post, or you may wait till the book is published – yeah that’s the main prize of the competition.
I edited some stories for an upcoming anthology and the state of grammar was quite similar. Seriously if one gave me a dollar for every grammar mistake I could spot on the FB status updates of people in my list I would make a million very easily.
These mistakes include messing with tense, not using punctuation correctly, creating your own verbs (using words which doesn’t even exist) and what not, literally what not. And I am not only talking about mistakes made by fellow Indian people but also by people from US, UK and largely other English speaking countries.
Now by no way I am telling I am a grammar Nazi or the I-know-every-bit-of-grammar but after having seen how the state of affair is for a large population of people I can say I am in a better place, or I at least try to correct myself when I am not. One major glitch that is rampant these days is the auto correct that we see in our iOS and Android devices. Most of the time it changes my words into something that it fancies and if I have not checked it before posting it remains that way. Like the other day I wrote ‘I don’t care if I’m spamming’ and auto correct on my iPhone conveniently made it ‘I don’t career’… career really!!!
Today I am going to list down some of the most common grammar mistakes that are made by even smart adults and tricks to correct them. My post may contain some infographics and photos which you may check. I am going to touch upon the most common mistakes only, to keep the length of the post in check!
While writing this I remembered wrong pronunciation of common words, maybe I’ll do a post on it later some time.
2day v r in da age f sms lingo or da twitter lingo. And it feels insane when people start writing like this in their blog posts or story submissions. I mean really is that how you write in school too?? When we were in school we were threatened of negative marking for every spelling mistake! Thank god for that our hold on spellings is still strong and by the way everyone has a MS Word for that tiny help.
I before E except after C
I have seen many spelling achieve as ‘acheive’, receive as ‘recieve’, receipt as ‘reciet’ and so on.
This is the easiest rule to follow – I before E but except before C.
So common words where you have I and E will always have ie and not ei.
e.g. – achieve, believe, bier, brief, hygiene, grief, thief, friend,
chief, fiend, patience, pierce, priest etc.
And when you have a preceding C it’s the other way round – i.e. – “cei”
e.g. – ceiling, conceive, deceive, perceive, receipt, receive,
If you remember this you will never make this common mistake.
Are you tired of reading people write – ‘I didn’t said that’, ‘I didn’t went there’, ‘he didn’t listened to me’ and such other phrases? This is one of the most common mistakes I faced while editing the stories.
Only Present after did not or didn’t or even ‘to’
That’s again the rule – no past tense after did not or to. The verb right after did or did not is always present.
e.g. – I didn’t say that, I didn’t gothere, he didn’t listen to
me, did he manage to get there, are you going to ask him
Get that THAT & AND off your sentence
This one technically is not an error but it makes a read very difficult. Try and reduce as much of ‘that’, ‘and’, ‘which’ in your sentences while writing a prose, story, or even a simple blog post. It’s even better to write shorter sentences than writing a sentence as long as a paragraph with scores of ‘that’, ‘and’, and which!
The Good, The Better, The Best
I read in some ones FB post – this ‘makeup brand’ was more better. Now what is that exactly? When you use comparative and superlative adjectives you need not use anything else to make it even more superduperlative!! (yeah that’s not a word). When you write bestest friend you are not making your friendship supersonic.
long – longer – longest , short – shorter – shortest,
bright – brighter – brightest, close – closer – closest
I’m going to leave you with some photos which will make it clear why a space, a comma and a full stop is important – in short why we need punctuation.
|Did we miss a space somewhere?
|Are we Hunting pedestrians? Where did the comma disappear?
|Poor Grandma, just about to be eaten!
|Apostrophes on sale? Use to heart’s content!!!
Check the infographics below for correct usage of comma
You can blame some of the American sitcoms and TV programs for wrong grammar too. If you don’t believe me check the infographic below. See how acceptable wrong English and wrong usage of grammar has become from the 1960s.
So that’s it for today. Next grammar class sometime later. Hope this post helps to clear up grammar related confusions and help to correct the common mistakes.
Until then good night!