Thursday, December 18, 2008

I aspire to be Grammar Girl

    A list of things that have been making the Grammar Nazi in me go NUTS as of late

    (subtitle: It may be time to adjust my meds)

  • People who say, "I could care less..." If you could care less then that means that, at the moment, you DO care a little. The proper phrasing of that is, "I couldn't care less..." or, possibly, you could say, "AS IF I could care less..." (yes, I am SO aware of the irony of what is going on here.)
  • Apostrophes. Good heavens, people. Apostrophes show possession OR a contraction. Which means that if you are talking about "all the good girls & boys," there should be nary an apostrophe in sight. When I see "all the good girl's and boy's" I wonder what on earth it is that belongs to those children. Also, if you are selling something, say....apples, your sign should read Apples - $1/lb. NOT Apple's - $1/lb. I have been known to refuse to purchase items from a store using superfluous apostrophes. (It's an affliction, I realize this.)

  • People who use the word "myself" when they really mean "me." Military people are particularly guilty of this, "...if you have any questions, you can talk to either Lt. Jones or myself." Evidently, they think that this makes them sound more official? Or smarter? Honestly, it just makes you sound stupid. Think of it like this, take the other person's name out. Would you say, "...if you have any questions ask myself," or "...if you have any questions, ask me." (hint: the answer is B).

Also, while I'm at it:

  • Your = possession (your car) You're = a contraction meaning you are (you're going to your car??)
  • You & I vs. You & Me in a sentence: You and I are going to ride in your car. (I do something) Mom gave the car keys to you and me. ("Me" is the recipient of something) Use the same trick as in "myself" above: take the other person out of the sentence. I am going to the store." Mom gave the car keys to me."
  • As a corollary: He/She & I vs Her/Him & me He/She & I is the subject (He and I got married.) Him/Her & I is the object(recipient) (The boss questioned both him and me about our living situation.)
  • There are probably many many more, but I will be merciful and not subject you to them. Merry Christmas!

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