I’ve ranted repeatedly about misuse of it’s for the possessive pronoun its, but there are so many more unnecessary apostrophes. Who is to blame?
Prepare to be shocked by this Grammar Cop admission. Unless you scrupulously proofread and edit every social media post, it’s not your fault. That’s what I said. It’s not your fault!
Our devices try to help us speedily comment and text by using intuitive technology like autocomplete and autocorrect. Then there’s speech recognition software, which, unfortunately, is flawed.
Here’s an example:
I just dictated to my iPad the following:
We travel in a small fiberglass travel trailer made by Casita. Because we live in the south and the Casita is diminutive and fun, we named it Dixie Pixie. For more about our experiences, visit my blog at DixiePixie.blog.
We travel in a small fiberglass travel trailer made by Kaseeta because we live in the south in the Kaseeta is diminutive and fun we named it Dixie pixie for more about our experiences is it my blog at Dixie pixie not block.
Granted, I neglected to add punctuation, but lack of sentence breaks is the least of my problems with this transcription. Sheesh!
If you rely on technology, you should proofread before exposing your comment or post to the public. Especially watch for improper use of apostrophes. It’s seems to be the default for its.
Grammar Cop has cited writers in the past for using words that aren’t words. Irregardless is one, although it’s widely used and accepted (much to Grammar Cop’s dismay). Reoccur is another. Neither is a real word, but writers use irregardless and reoccur instead of regardless and recur.
Here’s another. Unthaw. The word is thaw. Unthaw isn’t a real word. If it were, it would be a synonym for freeze. Supposeably isn’t a word, either. Supposedly is.
Watch out for those pesky non-standard words. When in doubt, check a reliable dictionary.
It’s a little thing, but it disturbs me. Why why why can’t otherwise educated people spell the possessive form of it correctly? THERE IS NO APOSTROPHE! This morning, I received an emailed health bulletin to which I subscribe touting the benefits of a particular mineral. When I reached the last paragraphs, I read:
it’s amazing benefits…
It’s a little thing, but it isn’t a typo. It’s a spelling error. Why send out professional letters or print promotional material if you can’t spell correctly? It makes the issuer appear unprofessional. The fact that many readers accept or ignore the spelling error is particularly disturbing.
Grammar Cop is citing this offender. I now worry what other areas of the company’s output is sloppy or suspect. Before you comment that Grammar Cop is a nut job, please know that this isn’t the first offense for this publication. Everyone is entitled to a second chance, but I’ve seen it repeatedly.
ITS is the possessive form. IT’S is a contraction.
End of rant.
Grammar Cop has been on hiatus, but now she’s back and on a familiar rant. Apostrophes! Stop using apostrophes incorrectly. It isn’t that difficult.
Do NOT use apostrophes for pronoun possessives: hers, his, yours, ours, theirs, its.
Do NOT use apostrophes (except in cases of acronyms) for plural: ATMs or ATM’s
It’s is a contraction of it and is. Its is the possessive of it. It’s not that difficult!
Dictionaries are updated almost daily now, and I find the new words fascinating. For instance, tryptophantastic. Spelling checkers underline it, yet it’s an acceptable adjective meaning contentedly drowsy or sleepy, particularly after eating turkey. I know this feeling!
As an RVer, I’ve long struggled with the correct spelling of motor home. Or is it motorhome? I’ve seen it both ways. As it turns out, motorhome is now acceptable as a compound word. Great news for dealers and manufacturers who’ve spelled it as one word for years, right?
Now if the Lexicographers of the English language will accept bakeware as a compound word, I’ll be happy. Why is cookware acceptable and bakeware not? I’ll check again tomorrow. 😉
Recent posts have been about misused and misunderstood words, inspired by the American Heritage Dictionaries* editors.Here’s another to add to your vocabulary: reticent and reluctant.
Are reticent and reluctant synonyms? Well…yes and no. Remember my rant about decimate? The term that technically refers to removing one/tenth of a given population has evolved in usage as a synonym for annihilate. Usage has confused the word reticent, too.
Reticent people are reserved, especially among strangers. They may be reluctant to talk about themselves, but that doesn’t make them reluctant in all things.
So don’t apply the adjective reticent when you mean reluctant. I am not reticent, but I’m reluctant to gamble large amounts of money in a casino.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention remiss, another word often confused with reluctant. Remiss means negligent or careless. If you’re remiss in your job duties, it may be because you’re reluctant to perform the work, but the two words aren’t synonymous.
*Houghton Mifflin Books, 2004:100 words almost everyone confuses & misuses
Here is another word choice dilemma for you: Flammable and Inflammable. If you look up definitions for the words, they read the same: Easily ignited and combustible. Inflammable (or inflame), while correct, is confusing because of the prefix “in.” Some words are made negative with the “in” prefix (Inert, inglorious, inconceivable). Inflammable, however, means flammable. So which is correct?
While inflammable is a word, Grammar Cop strongly suggests you use flammable. For safety reasons, you don’t want anyone mistaking inflammable for un–flammable.
Re-posting for the author who asked about awhile and a while.
Cheryl Norman - Grammar Cop
Do compound words confound you? For instance, when do you use everyday and when is it every day? Or the one I struggle with most–awhile. Or is it a while? As usual, the answer is: It depends.
Awhile is an adverb meaning a short period of time. It should be used with a verb.
She stopped working awhile and had a cup of tea.
A while (two words) can mean any length of time and acts as a noun.
She stopped working for a while and had a cup of tea.
Unfortunately, you’ll see awhile misused in the press. Ignorance? To save print space? Who knows.
Words like everyday or anytime are used as adjectives.
Red wine vinegar is her everyday vinegar.
Words like Every day and any day are two words when used as adverbs.
She uses red wine vinegar every day.
She uses red wine…
View original post 89 more words
It’s summer, and that means thunderstorms. A common spelling/grammar mistake I see is the use of the word lightening. Let’s clear up the confusion.
Lightening means to add light or to dilute the tint of a color.
She tried lightening her hair, but it turned an odd shade of red.
Lightning is an atmospheric phenomena typically seen during thunderstorms.
Ben Franklin attracted lightning with a metal key attached to a kite.
Remember, if it’s in the sky, it’s spelled without the e.
In case you didn’t know, today is the Sunday in June we honor the fathers in our lives. You may be tempted to call it “Fathers’ Day” or “Fathers Day” to pluralize it. However, the official (and Grammar Cop-accepted) holiday is called Father’s Day.
If you honor more than one father or dad, remember to use the correct plural form, fathers or dads. There is no apostrophe!
Happy Father’s Day to all you dads.