Random Grammatical Rant

Call me a snob, but it bugs the crap out of me when people write by ear and end up butchering the English language. Case in point: it’s “SHOULD HAVE” (or SHOULD’VE), not “SHOULD OF.” As in: “I should HAVE (or should’ve) written about this sooner.” The same goes for “could have” and “would have.” While I’ve run across a bunch of other cases like this in my meanderings across the web, this is the one that comes to mind right now. Again, I know that I’m running the risk of being a grammar snob by writing this, but if nobody ever told you, then how would you know? Now you do. Feel free to leave a comment with any other grammatical annoyances that you’ve run across. I now return you to the regularly scheduled programming.

15 Responses to “Random Grammatical Rant”

  1. Anonymous

    My biggest pet peeve are people who only speak, read, and write ONE language. And while we have current politicians “mandating” that the “official” language become English, it is an inevitability (with current population trends) that we will all end up speaking other languages to conduct business. Chinese, Indian and Spanish come to mind.

  2. Anonymous

    My grammatical pet peeve is inappropriate use of ‘and’ when ‘to’ is intended, i.e. the all to common ‘try and succeed/improve/do something’. You’re going to try _and_ succeed?

  3. Anonymous

    My pet peeves aren’t about grammar. Not that I don’t notice when it is butchered, but I find that I have a remarkable capacity to forgive those errors in the context of good ideas. The two things that get to me are incorrect usage of words that distorts the meaning, and excessive use of passive constructs. Let me explain.

    I think anyone reading grammar rants will be familiar with the distinction between “imply” and “infer”. The definitions are quite clearly distinct, but there are people out there who confuse the words. Usually I see “infer” where “imply” is clearly the correct choice. There are other cases, I merely offer that one as an example.

    My second peeve is the use of passive constructions. It has its place. It is an ellision of an implicit subject. That can be extremely useful in speaking hypothetically or abstractly where there is no subject. It is even appropriate where the subject is not known. However, it seems to get overused in cases where the subject is known and deliberately not stated.

    That’s enough of my ranting. If I continue, I will certainly introduce some choice typos for which I will be chastised myself. However, I wanted to mention two wonderful online resources and ask if anyone else reading this can contribute more. The first is the Chicago Manual of Style FAQ. The second is the 1918 edition of Strunk’s The Elements of Style

  4. Anonymous

    My favorite is “flounder” and “founder”. Flounder is a fish, and founder is to drift aimlessly. But over usage of “flounder” with the meaning of “founder” has almost eradicated the difference.

  5. Anonymous

    I always loved this example from The Elements of Style– about nauseous vs. nauseated. It went something like “don’t say that you feel nauseous, unless you are sure you have that effect on others…”

  6. Anonymous


    The all time biggest offender. The word you want is “regardless”, people.

    And innapropriate use of double quotes to make a point. Especially if you wiggle four fingers when you do it.

  7. Another pet peeve of mine is the improper usage of “i.e.” and “e.g.” The former is short for “id est,” which means “that is.” The latter is short for “exempli gratia,” which means “for example.” But in everyday usage, these get flip-flopped all the time.

  8. Anonymous

    Its vs. it’s bugs me too, as well as other misuses of possessives.

    Another is “alright.” It’s spelled “all right,” without exception. All right? 😉

  9. Anonymous

    “Could/should of” is one of the most irksome grammatical muckups to me, as well. So many others… it’s vs. its, for example. That’s one’s not just on blogs, it’s everywhere in professionally published media, too.

Leave a Reply