1. iambrad
    Offline

    iambrad Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0

    Grammatical pet peeves

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by iambrad, Oct 30, 2010.

    I have several. Now I don't mind typos, or a misplaced comma or those things, but one thing makes me cringe more than any other. I thought it would be fun for us to share ours, but we need to stay on topic for this section. To do that, let's make this a learning exercise. Name your pet peeve, why it bugs you, and the rule for proper usage.

    Of all my pet peeves, the one that gets me most is when people say things like "John went to the movie with Paula and I". or "This is a picture of Paula and I."

    It bugs me because it is a pretentious, half-assed, effort to sound smart by using the pronoun "I" in place of "me"...and it is incorrect. This is a mistake made mostly by otherwise intelligent people trying to sound smart without actually learning the rule.

    To select a pronoun properly, remove the other party. Would you say "John went to the movie with I", or "John went to the movie with me"? Of course you would choose the latter, and that is the one you should use next time Paula goes with you and John.

    Now, what's yours?
     
  2. zaffy
    Offline

    zaffy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think more people get it wrong than right.
    My theory: That is why many have gone over to using 'myself', which is even worse.
    Examples: My husband and myself went to the shops.
    He had a go at my friend and myself.
     
  3. Capt Bob
    Offline

    Capt Bob Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Florids Keys
    Quote: "Of course you would choose the latter, and that is the one you should use next time Paula goes with you and John."

    Now, what's yours?
    ***********
    "I think more people get it wrong than right.
    My theory: That is why many have gone over to using 'myself', which is even worse.
    Examples: My husband and myself went to the shops.
    He had a go at my friend and myself."
    **************
    I don't care if you use I or myself--My peeve is You and John going out with my wife Paula, and John having "a go" at her!!.
     
  4. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,878
    Likes Received:
    10,056
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Jumbled verb tenses and moods:

    I had went to the mall, but it was closed. (wrong)
    I went to the mall and bought a shirt. (right)
    I had gone to the mall, but it was closed. (right)

    I looked for Tommy at the mall, but he had left. (wrong)
    I looked for Tommy at the mall, but he had gone. (right)

    If I was you, I would have looked for Tommy at the food court. (wrong)
    If I were you, I would have looked for Tommy at the food court. (right)
    Would that I were you, I would have looked for Tommy at the food court. (even better, though I doubt I will win any converts to this more precise phrasing of the conditional mood)

    And then there are some bizarre uses of words that defy explanation. These may be regionalisms that I remember from my time in Florida.

    This morning, whenever I was brushing my teeth, someone knocked at the door.

    Target is really expensive, so anymore I shop at Walmart.

    That last one floors me.
     
  5. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    I always remember our English grammar text books C. 1966:
    'He sold the table to the lady with the carved legs.'
    and:
    'Looking out of the window, the mountains were capped with snow.'

    These were in a sentence correction exercise for 7 yr old kids--shame the book's not still in use, since I'm always seeing howlers like the above in writing nowadays, even in published journalism.
     
  6. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    The ones that really get on my nerves:

    "Your" instead of "you're"

    "Alot" instead of "a lot"

    "Alright" instead of "all right."

    Putting an apostrophe to pluralize something that's not posessive ("I have two cat's.")
     
  7. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    That's called the greengrocer's apostrophe, because it is often seen on produce signs:
    I have mixed feelings about this thread. It could become a useful, educational list of gotchas, or it could become a tiresome gripefest. If it becomes the latter, the mods will close it.

    There are a number of common usage errors. Some make me grind my teeth, others make me chuckle.

    For example:
    Wrong: straight jacket Right: strait jacket
    Wrong: bare with me (get naked?) Right: bear with me
    Wrong: to loose something Right: to lose something (when the meaning is to no longer possess)
    Wrong: copywrite Right: Copyright (referring to a writer's protection)
    Wrong: He was very exited (jumping for joy) Right: He was very excited
    Wrong: mute point Right: Moot point

    There is an excellent site, Paul Brians' Common Errors in English Usage that lists and explains hundred of these common mistakes.
     
  8. IVIilitarus
    Offline

    IVIilitarus Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Africa
    'grammer' and inability to tell between 'your' and 'you're'.

    The latter happens mostly with whiny teenaged girls.
     
  9. zaffy
    Offline

    zaffy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nothing wrong with "a go"

    It may be colloquial but it is in the dictionary and is a very old term.
    Whereas using myself instead of I and me is grammatically incorrect.
     
  10. sslafantasie
    Offline

    sslafantasie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    The Heartland
    Thought you should know...

    Wow, then all my English teachers are wrong! I was told that it is Proper English to use I instead of me...for example (and to use more on yours)...

    "John and I went to the movie."

    This is correct because you can splice this into to seperate sentences.

    "John went to the movie."

    "I went to the movie."

    Now, "John and I went to the movie." is correct.

    In regards to Paula, the same goes, only because there are now three subjects, you would put in three seperate sentences.

    "John went to the movie."

    "Paula went to the movie."

    "I went to the movie."

    To combine these for "proper" English, you would say, "John, Paula, and I went to the movie."

    I'm not an English buff in any means, but this was a difficult concept for me to grasp when younger and this was pretty much how it was explained to me. I hope this makes it easier for you to understand. No one is trying to prove themselves smarter in any means.

    :D
     
  11. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    ^You're both right. If you say "Paula and I took a picture together," then you use I. However, if, as the original poster was saying, you rephrase that to be "This is a picture of Paula and me," then you would use "me" instead of "I."

    It depends on how the sentence is phrased, hence the example of taking out the other person. If you remove Paula from the sentence and say "I took a picture," it makes sense. But if you remove Paula and say "This is a picture of I," it doesn't.
     
  12. iambrad
    Offline

    iambrad Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    All of the examples you used are correct, and your teacher seems to be correct. That is the rule, but let's do another example.

    "The lady with the cart bumped into me"
    "The lady with the cart bumped into John"
    "The lady with the cart bumped into me and John"

    A lot of times you will hear people say "The lady with the cart bumped into John and I". It's becoming far more common than it should be.
     
  13. Steerpike
    Online

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,079
    Likes Received:
    5,276
    Location:
    California, US
    Another example, you wouldn't say "He went to store with John and I." You would say "John and me" in that sentence.

    But yes, the OP and sslafantasie both have it right in the examples they use.
     
  14. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    just 3 of the many that drive me up the wall:

    adding an incorrect/annoying 'of'...
    "He took it off of the shelf."
    "They jumped out of the window."

    "I could care less."
    when what they really mean is:
    "I couldn't care less."

    confusing "everyday" [= ordinary] with "every day" [= daily]
     
  15. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    I don't think I have any, but ones that stick out are "your instead of you're" and the like. Although I sometimes miss this in my own writing. Doh!

    Irregardless is a pretty lame non-word that people often use.
     
  16. zaffy
    Offline

    zaffy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    The above line is incorrect, it should be -
    The lady with the cart bumped into John and me.
    The pronoun comes last.
     
  17. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    This reminded me of one I hate - using "of" where they mean "have":

    "I should of called Mom on her birthday."
    "Jeez, Dan, you could of cleaned the cat's litter box."
     
  18. iambrad
    Offline

    iambrad Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Really? do you have a reference for that. I know it is more common to put the noun first, but was under the impression that it was not a firm rule. I've always put them in order of importance.

    "Remember when you and John were at the store?"
    "No, I went to the store with you."
    "You went to the store with me and John."

    If I was struck first in the cart example, saying "The lady with the cart bumped into me and John" has always seemed proper. I always saw it as sort of an abbreviated version of saying "The lady with the cart bumped into me and then she bumped into John"

    Is that not the case?


    lol minstrel, that of/have one can be rough. It gets me when people write that, but if you only ever hear it spoken it would be an easy mistake to make. It's even worse when people type things like "I should of saw it coming"
     
  19. throughthepeephole
    Offline

    throughthepeephole Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    I like this thread. I don't consider myself a grammar buff, but I often find myself correcting my friends out of habit, which is as annoying for me as it is for them because it makes me feel like a complete a$s :D.
    A few particular mistakes that get my back up include the misspelling of 'Weird' as 'Wierd'...I don't understand how that looks correct. I also cringe when somebody says 'hence why' instead of just 'hence'. Hence and Why serve the same function in a sentence, so you could say either:

    "Hence I bought the handbag"

    or

    "That's why I bought the handbag"

    I feel like an a$s now, but I just had to let it out lol.
     
  20. iambrad
    Offline

    iambrad Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    lol don't. The entire purpose of this thread is that we get to see things that may not go over well with readers in a fun way. I'm really learning a lot that will help me. Hopefully others are too.

    The "hence why" one that you mentioned is good. It reminds me of another I am seeing a lot now.

    For some reason people have taken to saying "and also" a lot, and that just floors me. You really only need one or the other. while phrases like "I washed my pants and also dried them" are not technically incorrect, it is redundant. Hence why yours makes me cringe and also this one. :D
     
  21. throughthepeephole
    Offline

    throughthepeephole Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    I've not seen 'and also' so much, although I have been seeing excessive use of 'and' a fair bit recently, for example:

    'I went to the fair and then I went to McDonalds and bought a burger and then I went home'.

    I find most of this stuff on Facebook :rolleyes:
     
  22. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    Haha, that was what I was going to post. I have a friend who does this on Facebook all the time, and I always have to fight the urge to correct her.
     
  23. zaffy
    Offline

    zaffy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    Above you wrote 'Iv'e always put them in order of importance'. This might be the answer, for politeness others are more important. Sorry, no reference, it is just what I was taught. Things may have changed or my teacher may have been wrong. For a definitive answer, probably one for Cog or Mam.
     
  24. sslafantasie
    Offline

    sslafantasie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    The Heartland
    That I would have to agree with. It just doesn't make any sense, and it seems like it gets 'stuck' in the mouth. lol:redface:
     
  25. VM80
    Offline

    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,211
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    There/their/they're

    and

    Are/our... how? They don't that alike?
     

Share This Page