Friday, May 25, 2012

Writing Wrongs

First, some blog business. To make this blog a bit more interactive I added the ability for you to subscribe to future posts and / or comments and to follow by email. Just enter your information in the areas to the right.

Also, I'm announcing a book giveaway. That's right, a free, autographed book from me to a lucky winner. There's one condition, though. You may notice that as of now there are only fourteen people who have proudly admitted they are following this blog. I know from the reports I get that there are millions, well, hundreds of people who read each post. There's nothing to be ashamed of! Become a follower. When I reach 50 followers I will have a drawing and someone will win his or her choice of a signed copy of either the award-winning Protecting the Cittern or The Ibex Trophy. If that person already has both books, and come to think of it, you all should have both books by now, then I will give my work in progress, Raw Umber, as soon as it is published. Unless hell freezes over by then.

Don't worry about security or privacy if you provide your email address or follow the blog. The information isn't used for anything but inflating my ego.

Now, back to the actual blog.

I went on a bit of a rant last time regarding improper use of certain phrases. Well, hide your children, because I'm not done yet. Here are a few, and believe me there are many more, spelling and / or usage errors that occur way too frequently by people who allegedly speak English as a main language, who don't think about what they're actually writing, and possibly don't own dictionaries or have Internet access.

First, I definitely know that definitely is not spelled definately. Who put that "a" in the middle? Don't people have spell check?

There is no such word as irregardless. Please, don't say it or write it. It's regardless. The "ir" implies the negative. For example something irrelevant is not relevant. Something irregular is not regular. Something irrational is not rational. Something ironic is not ... onic? Never mind, you get the point. And the "less" implies that something is missing. Hence, without regard to something. You don't need both.

During a thunderstorm, and we get some doozies here in Florida, I have no fear of ever being struck by lightening. Lightning, on the other hand, can do a lot of damage. Don't put that "e" in the middle. Unless you're talking about losing weight, thus lightening the load you carry around all day, or telling a joke during a tense situation, thus lightening the mood, leave out the "e". Maybe lightning never strikes twice in the same place, but lightening shows up way too often.

Sometimes what you hear sounds like what you write, but if you speak the language there's no excuse for these next two mistakes. Many people write things like "I was suppose to go to school today", or "I use to know that", omitting the "d" indicating past tense in supposed and used. Spoken, the "d" slurs with the "t" in "to" so it isn't heard, but the phrases appear correctly in enough places that you'd think people would figure it out.

In the same way, the contraction in phrases like "I should have done that" is "I should've done that", which sounds like "I should of done that". So they write what they hear, not what makes sense in the English language.

Don't even get me started on there, their, and they're!

Obviously I'm turning into a cranky curmudgeon. Time to go. I'm working outside and just saw a flash of lightening. Irregardless of the odds of me being hit, I definately should get inside. I should of gone they're earlier when I heard the thunder, but I was suppose to finish writing this blog.


32 comments:

  1. Ooo, you done stepped all up on my style. (JK--at least I write how I write on PURPOSE.)
    ~ Suncerely, Me

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  2. You touched on so many of my pet peeves! I enjoyed reading this!

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  3. Oh John, I hear/here you! There/their are too/to many groaners among folks who consider themselves professional writers/editors. The moral/morale is clear: read/reed daily and don't/dont give up regardless/irregardless.

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    1. Thanks, Mary. It's enough to drive you crazy!

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  4. Hey John, I love the last graph.

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  5. Thank you John for the reminders. You have a wonderful style for a cranky curmudgeon. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Barbara. I was feeling particularly curmudgeony today!

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  6. LOL Love it! You hit the nail on the proverbial head with this post :)

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  7. Hey Camel,

    I enjoyed your latest blog. Like Melanie commented you
    hit on most of my pet peeves as well.

    Al D

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    1. Thanks, Al. It was so hard to limit it to just these!

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  8. Agreed! My pet peeve is over instead of more than when referring to get quanties. Good blog. I'll follow as soon as I get home.

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    1. So many errors to choose from, so little time to fix the world!

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  9. Oh, John, I know your wife will forgive me when I say, "I love you, I love you, I love you!" :) Great post!!

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    1. Thanks, Candice. She won't mind, and fortunately, no rumor has ever been started by something that was posted on the Internet!!

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  10. Janicem20@aol.comMay 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Nice session, John. I anxiously await your take on recurrence vs. reoccurrence. Hope you're having a good Memorial Day. Janice.

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    1. Thanks, Janice. There are so many examples I could have added, and that was on the list. Hope all is well in NJ.

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  11. Like the message and love the style. good for you, John.

    Lois

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    1. Thanks, Lois! I hope you're keeping cool up in Wisconsin.

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  12. Where's snuck? That's a hair-tearer for me. Sneak snuck in your next rant. I sneaked it in only because it snuck by you. And speaking of 'less' (and 'fewer') I have less time, but fewer minutes to go on about this stuff. (Go figure!)
    G

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  13. Picky, picky! You must of went to the same catholic school I went to. Sister Mary Elephant taught you good.

    Rols

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    1. Owww!!! My eyes! My eyes! Now I have to write a post on when to use "went" and "gone".

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  14. Oh, my! The word that is but never was: 'irregardless'. That word is every literature teacher's pet peeve.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by. I went over to your blog and followed it, too. I was especially glad when I saw "lightning" on your post from the other day!

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  15. Hello John ... We've never met in person but I know you through your wife Evelyn. Please tell her I said hello from New Jersey. We used to work together in Diagnostics under Doug McQ. It's been about 25+ years now. Evelyn still looks the same but has gone lighter with her hair. Jennifer is now married with children? So glad to hear that you both retired early and are living the good life in Fort Pierce, Florida. I stumbled on your website and blog when I was looking for something and someone else (it was like Six Degrees of Separation). Great news about your being a writer now John; you're a natural. What I've read in your first book has held my interest and I have my order in for one copy. Evelyn and John .. the second half of your life looks pretty bright. Enjoy!

    Pet peeve ... people who pronouce asked as axed (lol).

    Loretta K. - June 12, 2012

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    1. Hi Loretta, Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and getting in touch. Evie was very happy to find out you contacted me. Jennifer is married for 11 years and has two children, Benjamin is six and Melanie will be five in September. We love being here and close to Jenny and our grandchildren. I hope you like the book! Thanks for buying it!

      I agree with you about axed! If you like, I'll give you Evie's email address. I don't want to post it here, but feel free to write me at johncbooks@gmail.com and I'll give it to you.

      John

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  16. John, if you're a curmudgeon then I must be too. All of the misused/misspelled words you listed drive me crazy, especially when I see them used by people who call themselves writers. I can't help but wonder what their books look like and hope I don't inadvertently buy one.
    So please keep the rants coming! They're a public service.
    FYI: I found your blog through LinkedIn's "Book Marketing / Do you have a blog?" group.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sandy. I hope you become a regular visitor. There are still several blogs from the LinkedIn group that I want to look at, but I'll get to yours soon.

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  17. John, what a great post! Being an educator, I can certainly relate to the "grammer" errors. (Yep, that is also a typical misspelling.) While my area is different from yours, I still encountered similar occurences. Here is one of the worst: In mathematics, the decimal point DOES make a difference! While .99 cents, .59 cents, .79 cents, etc., definitely result in a lower price, that is not the intent of the seller. Try arguing that one next time you go shopping:>) I have had many retailers embarrassed and price tags changed. . .that or sell me the item(s) as marked!

    I have joined as a Follower so hop on over to catnipoflife (http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com/) and her sister site Awakenings (http://www.awakenings2012.blogspot.com/). Perhaps either or both might peak your interest!

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    1. Thanks, Sharla. I'll be happy to check out your blogs.

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