Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pet Peeves

It drives me up the wall when...

10. ... people make a word plural by adding an apostrophe and an "s".  I don't know what's going on in schools today, but I learned this way back in elementary school.  If you want to make something plural, you usually just add an "s".  You don't add an apostrophe.  An apostrophe indicates a possessive or a contraction... not a plural.

9. ... people don't know the difference between "you're" and "your".  When I see someone write, "Your gay," the only thing that makes me cringe more than the derogatory insult is the grammar.  Your gay what?

8. ... people say, "I'm waiting on line."  I'm not sure if it's a regional thing or if people are getting confused because of the Internet and the term "online", but it drives me nuts.  You're not standing on the line; you're standing in it.

7. ... authors don't proofread their online words.  If you can't be bothered to get the words right on your blog or message board, it makes me wonder if you bothered to get them right in your book.  And if you can't be bothered, why should I?

6. ... I see ellipses with two periods instead of three.  There is no such thing as a two-dot ellipsis.

5. ... authors use "said bookisms".  If you can actually laugh, snort, groan, or gasp your words, more power to you.  But most of us can't, so when I see book characters doing these things, I don't find it realistic.

4. ... people stick complete sentences together with commas.  I shouldn't have to explain why this is a problem.

3. ... reviewers consider a book to be well written just because it's popular.  That's dishonest.  If you like the book, just say you like the book.  I can't fault you for having an opinion.  But if you say it's well written even though it's full of grammatical errors, purple prose, and typos, I'll probably lose trust in your opinion.

2. ... people don't know the difference between "loose" and "lose".  If you say you want to "loose weight", it conjures up strange mental images.  "Loose" (as a verb) means to set free.  "Lose" means to be unable to find or have.  While I guess you could technically loose your weight, I'm not sure exactly what that would look like.  I'm imagining a bunch of little fat cells running free through the hills...

1. ... people misspell "definitely".  There is no "a" in "definitely".  Let me repeat that again, because I rarely see this word spelled correctly.  There is no "a" in "definitely".  It's not "definately" or "defenately" or "definantly" or "defiantly" (although that is a word... but probably not the one you mean).  Please, please, please learn to spell "definitely"... or don't use it.


  1. We have some of the same pet peeves! Especially, the ellipses!

  2. Love the list. Some of those things drive me up the wall too.

  3. We're thinking alike. I just posted some "spelling" problems that I see a lot. Great post! Thanks. Here's mine:

  4. You picked up on so many of my pet peeves with this post! The "definitely" one really gets to me, although sometimes when it's spelled "defiantly" it will make me smile. For instance, as I picture the person boldly saying, "I will DEFIANTLY go to the bookstore tomorrow!" like it's against the law or something. "Definately," on the other hand, just makes me cringe.

  5. I agree with you on the your / you're thing. That is a personal annoyance of mine too.

    A mistake that annoys me is when people say "pacific" instead of "specific." I have not seen it written very often though.

  6. Haha agree with all of these. I also hate the you're your thing and also its/it's.

  7. I so agree, and could probably add to your list!

  8. Here, here! Typos are one thing; we all make typos. The facts you enumerated, however, are also my pet peeves. I especially hate the wrong way of forming plural. English is not my native language and even I know all of the things you mentioned, so those mistakes mean that people are lazy and don't care to check up on the use of grammar.

    Haha, I laughed at the "loose weight" bit. I imagined fat cells floating around. That was funny.

    The only verb I don't mind when it comes to the "said bookism" phenomenon is hiss, but when only one word is hissed out. That is possible. If someone hissed out a whole sentence - well, that would sound a bit ridiculous. And, alright, I suppose you can laugh out a "yes" or a "no", but again, not whole phrases or sentences.

    Great post!

  9. I loved this post. The only one I haven't heard is #8, so maybe it is a regional thing. In addition to you're/your, I'm frustrated by their/they're/there and where/were confusion. My dad recently made a sign and wrote "use's." Oops.