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Grammar Snobs Unite! (10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling)

Published January 7, 2010 - 2 Comments

I received a link to this fun little page a week ago, but only just got around to reading it now.  It’s awesome.  Thank you, Janet.

I’ve referred to myself, in jest, as a bit of a grammar snob.  Usually when people read my writing for the first time, one of the things that I commonly hear is that it’s nice to read something that (generally) uses complete sentences.  That’s not to say that I’m fanatical about it.  I definitely take some liberties with my writing, especially when it comes to the blog.  I don’t believe that there is a style guide out there anywhere that advocates ending sentences with three periods.  Yet it’s not uncommon to see me end mine like this…  Followed by some sentence fragment…

But, despite a few questionable stylistic oddities, I generally try to follow the rules of proper grammar.  Spelling, on the other hand… well… If I don’t run a post through the spell-checker prior to sending it out, chances are that something will be wrong.

So here is list of 10 commonly misspelled words, and some fun and easy ways to remember how to properly spell them.  It didn’t take me long to find my own pet peeve, “then” vs “than”.  For me, that’s a deal-breaker.  When I read something that uses the word “then” when it should be “than” my skin crawls.  I know some very intelligent people who continue to use the wrong word, and I don’t know if they will ever change.

To that point, I’m far from perfect.  I only very recently stopped writing her’s and your’s.  For some reason, I had convinced myself that was the possessive case for her and your.  I still find myself typing those, but usually catch them on my own as I am typing them.  Hers.  Yours.  Hers.  Yours.

One of the other mistakes that I make constantly is the word alot… except that it’s not a word.  I misspell this nearly every time I write it.  Frankly, I think that it should be a word, but who am I to argue with the grammar gods?  Sometimes I go back and fix it, a lot of the time I don’t bother.  Just depends on my mood.

Surprisingly, ofcourse didn’t make the list.  I spell this incorrectly just as often as I spell alot.  Of course.  Of course.  Of course.  No matter how many times I type that, it still doesn’t look as natural to me as ofcourse.

As for the others on the list, most of them are things that I don’t have a problem with.  Except the word definitely.  It’s pretty much a 50-50 toss up whether I spell that definately.  I figured that I was the only one, but apparently it must be more common than I had originally thought.  Definitely.  Definitely.  Definitely.

I’ve never heard of the website, The Oatmeal, but this page that they put up is certainly worth a read.  You might even learn something…

(Ironically, when I ran the post through the spell-checker, I misspelled the word misspell each time!  Ha.)