Which Grammar Mistakes Make Readers Laugh at You?

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I purposefully butcher the occasional grammatical rule… it’s the rebel in me, I suppose. In many cases, the strategically placed off-phrase can enhance your writing; plus, I’m from Texas where the “language” isn’t exactly proper all the time.

Y’all know bout that, dontcha!?

It’s cute and funny to sometimes throw the rules out the window, but there are a few instances in writing grammatically correct content where breaking the rules just make the Grammar Police attack your comment section…

grammar police

Please, review the proper application of a “your,” a “there,” and a “to.”

Ohhhh, people. This one just happens to be my biggest pet peeve.

Your: Shows possession.

You’re: A contraction which combines “you” and “are.”

You’re such a talented writer, we should submit your status updates to Failbook.”

There: A location.

Their: Shows possession by more than one.

They’re: Another contraction combining “they” and “are.”

They’re going to their couples back-waxing appointment over there in the strip mall.”

To: Put simply, it indicates a destination or intent.

Too: As well as or in addition to.

Two: 2

“I am going to get a tattoo, too. I think two lips on my rear end would be an asset.”

grammar mistakes police

Take a compliment.

There is a very distinctive difference between a complement and a compliment.

If your significant other spent hours getting ready to go to a party, remember to compliment her looks, and don’t suggest a pair of pants might complement her derriere better than that miniskirt.

Don’t lose sight of your loose objective.

You can lose a game, lose your keys, and lose your mind. These could be caused by a loose defense, too much loose change and junk in your bag, or your loose morals.

Don’t be anxious.

I have a friend who likes to use anxious instead of excited. It could be a Texas thing, there are a lot of y’all in this area who like this one… but it still doesn’t make it right.

Anxious indicates fear. You can be anxious about a dentist appointment or a job interview, but you probably shouldn’t be anxious to see your long-lost best friend.

To cause and affect…

Affect is something that you (or any noun) can actually do to another noun. The result of this is the effect.

Clear as mud? Since grammar checkers such as Grammarly and Ginger are not always a failproof way to look for these errors, we suggest using the old fashioned “Control F” (or Command F on a Mac) and search for those words within the text. Give your copywriter, editor, or publisher instructions on checking for errors with those words, and you’ll avoid distracting your reader with silly grade-school grammar mistakes.

Oct 17, 2012

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Michael K.

Michael is a content marketer who teaches people how to grow their businesses online and make a difference in people's lives at the same time.

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