The Chainlink

Perhaps I've been asleep for the past decade, but when did the grammar and spelling in this country plummet?

Brake= anything that has a slowing/stopping effect

Break= to destroy or interrupt

The improper use is killing me. That's right, I am dying from the misuse. Are there really that many stupid people?

Please don't mention "they're" "their" "there".... I cannot handle it.

Views: 114

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Adriana said:
How about 'anyways' or 'irregardless'? English is my second language, so I am all for constructive criticism!

I love it. English is my native language. I have read prolifically at times in my life yet never knew "irregardless" is technically an improper form of "irrespective" and "regardless" until this moment. Thank you for causing me to look it up :)
I hate when people say "I could care less" when they mean the opposite.

I didn't learn English until I was eight, so please explain when to use "its" and when to use "it's". I always thought they went like so: "Its a shame my cat can't clip it's own nails", but recently someone told me I have it backward (or is it "i have it backwards"?)

Also I never know when to use the word "whom"
I think there's a fine line between "dumbing down" speech to fit in and sounding like your grasp of the language is minimal. There are plenty of people who use simple words very well without any danger of looking ignorant.

This doesn't touch the issue of people who work as legal secretaries or in other positions where an error in a business document can have consequences. It's one thing to speak plainly. It's quite another when people don't have a grasp of one of the most basic tools needed to do their jobs properly.

The kinds of errors that inspired many of the responses on this thread CAN affect the meaning of a sentence, or sometimes an entire train of thought, if they happen in critical spots. That's the underlying message, IMO. I consider it part of a larger slippage in our culture - not accepting that actions or errors can have consequences.

Some grammatical errors are trivial, but if your knowledge of the language is spotty, you may not know whether the ones you've made are critical or trivial until you are dealing with the consequences of a misunderstanding.

Clark said:
After years as a professional writer, I agree. I hear and see bad grammar, spelling, word usage, etc every day. But years ago a friend from Evergreen Park explained the prevalence of bad English in Chicago to me: in Chicago, you can't appear TOO educated, if you want to get along. You have to "dumb-down" your speaking. Otherwise all your friends think you're "putting on airs..." To be well-regarded in some circles in Chicago, you have to use very common English...look at how far Mayor Daley has come with his mangled English.

Now with the explosion of chat, blogs, forums and other writing on the internet, people who've studiously avoided speaking proper English all their lives, are suddenly trying to express themselves in writing. And it is almost comical.

I've come to respect WHAT people say more than HOW they say it. I'm happy that people are making the effort. I really want to hear what they have to say...as illiterate as it may be. And if that means that they continue to mix up "brake" and "break;" "their," "they're" and "there" and so forth, I'll be happy...
It's is the contraction for 'it is'.
Its is possessive, such as "The bike is unridable. Its fork is broken."

As for whom, well, there you have it. :) Whom is used after a preposition, ie. for, to, from. For whom the bell tolls, to whom does this belong?

Vando said:
I hate when people say "I could care less" when they mean the opposite.

I didn't learn English until I was eight, so please explain when to use "its" and when to use "it's". I always thought they went like so: "Its a shame my cat can't clip it's own nails", but recently someone told me I have it backward (or is it "i have it backwards"?)

Also I never know when to use the word "whom"
Congrats, Ryan. I think you can consider yourself a "Grammar Nazi" now. But you're in good company. ;-)

I didn't understand the difference between "it's" and "its" until college. I got them wrong all the time. It wasn't until I received a paper back from a professor where she had written, in huge letters, in red, "ITS" where I realized the difference (I had gotten it wrong all over a several-page paper). It's the opposite of what you think it should be. If you can remember that, you've got it.

Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
It's is the contraction for 'it is'.
Its is possessive, such as "The bike is unridable. Its fork is broken."

As for whom, well, there you have it. :) Whom is used after a preposition, ie. for, to, from. For whom the bell tolls, to whom does this belong?

Vando said:
I hate when people say "I could care less" when they mean the opposite.

I didn't learn English until I was eight, so please explain when to use "its" and when to use "it's". I always thought they went like so: "Its a shame my cat can't clip it's own nails", but recently someone told me I have it backward (or is it "i have it backwards"?)

Also I never know when to use the word "whom"
I am also annoyed by these mistakes... it makes me cringe to see "break" instead of "brake" -- particularly in an article about cycling.

However... I don't think this problem is 10 years old. I think it is as old as written, perhaps even spoken language. It was really only very recently in the English language that a standard written form of every word became the rule. For most of the history of our, or any other language, the 'proper' usage of it has been ascribed to a very educated few.

I do think that we should learn our given language properly. I just don't think there's any reason to pretend that its misuse is a new phenomenon.

(That said, I don't spend much time around teenagers, who--according to many curmudgeons I know-- are ruining the English language.)
Brian Kennedy said:
It's amazingly refreshing to see that others still care about grammar. Texting is killing proper English. I talked to a fellow teacher the other day who allows students to use text language in their assignments!!!!!! Noooooooooooooooooo!!! I hand back any assignment I get that has any text language and refuse to grade it until proper grammar is used. Yes, I’m also one of those teachers who forces students to learn how to read an analog clock and open a dictionary. I'll be the first to mention "your" and "you're" as being oft misused, although, DUG alluded to it.

That teacher needs to be hit.
Ahhhh, it's about the time a political party whose big objective was to kill people was brought into the conversation. It took long enough.

I know you weren't serious. I just think the term is one of the stupidest retorts ever. "Grammar fascist" would be more appropriate. However, yelling "PERSON WHO CARES ABOUT THE QUALITY OF HIS OR HER LANGUAGE!" would just be weird.

Shay said:
Congrats, Ryan. I think you can consider yourself a "Grammar Nazi" now. But you're in good company. ;-)

I didn't understand the difference between "it's" and "its" until college. I got them wrong all the time. It wasn't until I received a paper back from a professor where she had written, in huge letters, in red, "ITS" where I realized the difference (I had gotten it wrong all over a several-page paper). It's the opposite of what you think it should be. If you can remember that, you've got it.

Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
It's is the contraction for 'it is'.
Its is possessive, such as "The bike is unridable. Its fork is broken."

As for whom, well, there you have it. :) Whom is used after a preposition, ie. for, to, from. For whom the bell tolls, to whom does this belong?

Vando said:
I hate when people say "I could care less" when they mean the opposite.

I didn't learn English until I was eight, so please explain when to use "its" and when to use "it's". I always thought they went like so: "Its a shame my cat can't clip it's own nails", but recently someone told me I have it backward (or is it "i have it backwards"?)

Also I never know when to use the word "whom"
notoriousDUG said:
Brian Kennedy said:
It's amazingly refreshing to see that others still care about grammar. Texting is killing proper English. I talked to a fellow teacher the other day who allows students to use text language in their assignments!!!!!! Noooooooooooooooooo!!! I hand back any assignment I get that has any text language and refuse to grade it until proper grammar is used. Yes, I’m also one of those teachers who forces students to learn how to read an analog clock and open a dictionary. I'll be the first to mention "your" and "you're" as being oft misused, although, DUG alluded to it.

That teacher needs to be hit.

Hit with a dictionary followed by a few books on English grammar usage!
It's when people use 'both' or 'all' when logically 'each' is called for…

Don't even get me started on 'loose' / 'lose'.

N.B.: I am not without sin here. If I were a Grammar Superhero (villain?) I would be Tensor!: ability to shift tense multiple times in a single sentence. Either that or Extensor!: ability to kludge run on sentences to infinity.

And hey - WTF is with Ning deleting my second after-period spaces?
It's not dead yet, but it's not so healthy.

A teacher allows students to use text language (truly an oxymoron) in school assignments?!? That's just wrong, and it's part of what I was talking about with errors/confusion in business communication. Getting allegedly professional e-mails from co-workers and people at other offices makes them look anything but professional and often does confuse the message they're trying to send.

Brian Kennedy said:
It's amazingly refreshing to see that others still care about grammar. Texting is killing proper English. I talked to a fellow teacher the other day who allows students to use text language in their assignments!!!!!! Noooooooooooooooooo!!! I hand back any assignment I get that has any text language and refuse to grade it until proper grammar is used. Yes, I’m also one of those teachers who forces students to learn how to read an analog clock and open a dictionary. I'll be the first to mention "your" and "you're" as being oft misused, although, DUG alluded to it.
Funny! And about the 2nd after-period space disappearing, that's an HTML quirk, not limited to Ning.

Bob Maher said:
It's when people use 'both' or 'all' when logically 'each' is called for…

Don't even get me started on 'loose' / 'lose'.

N.B.: I am not without sin here. If I were a Grammar Superhero (villain?) I would be Tensor!: ability to shift tense multiple times in a single sentence. Either that or Extensor!: ability to kludge run on sentences to infinity.

And hey - WTF is with Ning deleting my second after-period spaces?

RSS

Groups

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service