For the few of you that read this, I apologize. My last dos & don’t article said that I would post another soon… well, soon is a month (or more) later. Luke already gave me a hard time, so don’t worry.
This post focuses on the dos & don’ts of grammar. In the last post, I talked about how traffic angers me, but poor grammar might be up there as high on my list. Without further ado, here are the top dos & don’ts of grammar, OA edition.
Let’s start with the don’ts first, because these are some of the most frustrating.
Don’t use unnecessary (and incorrect) apostrophes. This one seems to be getting worse on social media, and with Christmas cards coming out right now, I’ve seen it a few times already. This is my number one pet peeve of grammar.
Just because you make a word (or name plural), you don’t just add an apostrophe. For example, let’s say your last name is Smith. When saying “Merry Christmas from the Smiths!” – it would be exactly that. You aren’t showing possession of anything so it should NOT, I repeat NOT be “Merry Christmas from the Smith’s!” This insinuates that the Smiths own something in this sentence. When actually used correctly, the plural possessive would be “tonight, we are going to the Smiths’ house.” This shows multiple Smiths own the house. This also applies to normal words – for example “beer.” You wouldn’t put “beer’s” on a shopping list would you? If you answered yes, stop reading and go find an elementary English book.
Don’t use “you’re” and “your” interchangeably. These are TWO DIFFERENT WORDS with TWO DIFFERENT MEANINGS. “You’re” means “you are.” For instance, “you’re annoying me with this grammar lesson.” “Your” shows possession, such as “I would like to punch your face.” Easy peasy, right?
Ok, let’s move on to the dos of grammar.
Do use the correct version of “to,” “too,” or “two.” This one may be the simplest here:
- To generally means direction or movement. I went to the store. I walked straight to the beer aisle.
- Two is a number. I bought two cases of beer.
- Too means “also.” I bought some vodka, too.
Do use the Oxford Comma. Ok, so this one is a complete opinion on my end, as there are people that will argue either way, but using the Oxford Comma makes lists clear, so you should use it. The Oxford Comma is the comma in a list that separates the last item, just before “and” or “or.”
Example: I bought beer, vodka, and tequila.
Non-Oxford example: I bought beer, vodka and tequila.
While both are correct, the Oxford Comma makes the list clean and separates each item nicely.
Now that you have officially wasted five minutes of your day, check out some other posts on our blog or catch up on our latest episode’s. (See what I did there?)
Thanks for reading – hopefully we can fix bad grammar, one comma user at a time.
Next time – the dos & don’ts of… just kidding, it’ll be a surprise.