Seduced By History recently conducted a poll, asking if those who read our blog were readers, writers, or both. The results? Readers, 24%, writers 6%, and readers/writers a whopping 61%. And since writing is as much technical as it is creative, I'd like to talk about a few of my favorite grammar pet peeves.
It was my now 13-year-old daughter who coined the term "grammariffic" several years ago. And okay, maybe I'm a little obsessive about correcting people's grammar. I was in labor - with this same daughter - when my husband told me, "You're doing good." Between contractions, I snapped, "It's you're doing well!"
Perhaps my obsession is a result of my late father, who was largely self-educated. If there was a word he didn't understand, he'd consult his pride and joy, the Funk & Wagnall's dictionary. That dictionary now has pride of place on my desk.
There are a few grammar mistakes that really bother me when I either read them or hear them spoken. "If I would have known..." instead of "If I'd known." "It wasn't that good of a grade," instead of "It wasn't that good a grade." "As best as he can" rather than "As best he can."
Of course, when you're talking, it's easier to overlook these mistakes than if you're reading them. A friend I knew from school asked me to read a short story she'd written. The plot was interesting, and the characters were believable. But the grammar ... well, let's say it needed work.
Things like effect instead of affect, wood instead of would, there, their and they're. I gave an honest critique, telling what I liked and didn't like, then suggested she buy a good grammar handbook!
How about you? Are there grammar mistakes that drive you crazy? That resonate like fingernails on a chalkboard?