Literal translations for the amateur grammarian

I’m SO TIRED of seeing this kind of thing: “Your such a good friend!”

Hell’s bells, is it really that hard to understand???

Someone once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I’d say it was Gandhi, but apparently his utterance of these words is debatable. Anyway, I yell at and poke fun at and criticize the people who make “obvious” grammatical errors, yet I never do anything about it. I’ve compiled the grammatical errors that drive me most batty so that I could present them in such a way that might make sense to the people who don’t understand my frustration. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a series of pictures that will translate, quite literally, what is really being said when something is written using improper grammar.

Visit www.theretheyretheir.com to learn more about how to use there, their, and they’re correctly.

Visit www.totootwo.com to learn how to master to and too.

For a quick, simple lesson on your and you’re, go to www.youryoure.com.

I would hope you’d know the difference between the two, but if you’re in need of are/our help, click here.

For the love of Pete, please learn the difference between then and than by clicking here.

It’s simpler than it looks. (Haha, I’m punny!) Learn more here.

Become an accept/except expert here.

If you still think I’m too anal about grammar, get off my blog and go read some Craigslist ads.

What does “UTI” stand for? (And other questionable acronyms)

It’s a possibility that my brain is hardwired so that my initial thoughts are as inappropriate as possible. But years ago, I remember hearing an ad on the radio for Universal Technical Institute–UTI–and I thought, Who would name a school so that it shares the same acronym as “urinary tract infection”?

Recently, I attended a friend’s wedding in Kuna, a nearby town, and down the street from the wedding venue is a daycare incredulously named Kuna Kave Kids. (Note: Kuna is home to the Kuna Caves, an underground lava tube cave system.) My jaw dropped and my boyfriend laughed like a loon at the idea of a daycare donning a name that could be abbreviated as “KKK”–especially considering that the original spelling of “Cave” was altered.

There are others, too: Wisconsin Tourism Federation (WTF), STD Contractors in Michigan, S & M Amusements (arcade sales and service), and PMS Mortgage (www.trustpms.com, as if I’m going to trust something that makes me moody and fat every month), just to name a few.

I'd like to get a quote on herpes, please...

It’s not “grammar,” but it’s another aspect of our language that tends to get overlooked in such a way that some of these people deserve Darwin Awards for their stupidity. A daycare called KKK? Really? And I thought we were teaching our children that the Holocaust was a bad thing.

WTF is up with these acronyms?

Kids, don’t text and drive. Let me tell you why.

…Because if you text and drive, you could accidentally miss a letter and end up with something like this:

Wait. That was wrong. Of course what I meant to say was that texting and driving is dangerous.

I wonder what Idaho United Credit Union would have to say if they knew that I snapped this picture while I was behind the wheel. Crap, I did it again. Maybe I should have titled this post, “Grammaniac is a bad influence.”

Anywho, long story short: Don’t text and drive. The end.

The phantom apostrophe

It’s February 21st, which means I’m jealous of every government employee in the nation who doesn’t have to bother with going to work today. While they are (surely) still sleeping soundly, I am awake and should be getting ready to head to the office. Instead, I’m sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee and contemplating the ultimate question: Is it Presidents’ Day, President’s Day, or Presidents Day?

According to the dictionary, the correct way of writing it is Presidents’ Day, since it is meant to commemorate the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Then again, the entry on dictionary.com (my source) also failed to capitalize George Washington’s name–first AND last–so they deserve very little credit.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (government website) lists the 2011 Federal Holidays; however, according to their calendar, February 21st is simply Washington’s Birthday instead of Presidents Day with any form of an apostrophe. In this case, it should be President’s Day if we’re only commemorating Washington.

Personally, I’ve always viewed February 21st as a day to honor multiple presidents. Having said that, I’m sure my day will be filled with Presidents’ Days, President’s Days, and Presidents Days alike. That phantom apostrophe just can’t seem to make up its mind.

On the Soapbox #2: Craigslist

Craigslist is the ULTIMATE place to go to find an endless supply of grammatical and spelling errors. Here on my blog, I try to refrain from playing grammar police on things like forums and social media sites. Although poor grammar drives me nuts no matter what the source, I feel I can only legitimately post about the errors made by people who should know better. That’s why I typically pick on businesses and printed publications.

However…

In the “Rants and Raves” section of Craigslist, one thing people love to rant about is other posters’ terrible use of grammar, spelling, and syntax. Because I am a Grammar Nazi, I like to silently cheer them on in my head. The problem is, only a small fraction of these ranters use proper grammar, spelling, and syntax in their own posts.

Example 1: (Click to enlarge)

Let’s begin by examining this person’s example sentence: “I slept better than I did the night before.” When did you sleep better than the night before? And the night before when, exactly? Today? Yesterday? The 5th of December? My point: it’s not a complete sentence. What’s worse is the use of the word “witch” instead of “which.”

Example 2: (Click to enlarge)

I won’t even get into the painfully awful syntax of this post. But I got a good laugh out of the last sentence: “WRITING YOUR ENTIRE MESSAGE IN CAPS is annoying and just shows people your nuts.” Writing in caps exposes male genitalia? Yikes! (This is why we have apostrophes, people!)

Example 3: (As you’ve probably discovered by now, click to enlarge)

Aside from the racist remark that pushed my pissed-off button, there are two errors in this post that make the high-and-mighty poster look like an idiot. “There’s lots of carbs” and “there’s no taxes” are wrong, wrong, wrong. “There are lots of carbs” and “there are no taxes”? Much better!

If you want to criticize someone’s grammar, then go nuts. It’s your right to do so. But please, PLEASE, for my sanity and the sanity of other true grammar freaks: USE PROPER GRAMMAR when ranting about poor grammar. (Oh dear, I wrote in all caps for part of that sentence. Are my nuts showing? 😉 )

On the Soapbox #1: Friends with Benefits

I’m going to try something new on the Grammaniac blog. I’m starting a category of “On the Soapbox” posts, in which I will choose an issue related to words, writing, or grammar, and I will dedicate a post to my true feelings on the subject. Hopefully, it will provide at least a tiny morsel of entertainment to some of my regular readers.

I recently read an article in which two women faced off on whether or not “friends with benefits” is a good idea. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the concept—if I’m putting time and effort into a man, he’d better be all MINE.

However, a strange thought occurred to me after I read the article. I have several “friends with benefits.”

Why do we have friends? For companionship, for support, for someone with whom to share our interests. Does anyone seriously want to tell me those aren’t considered “benefits”? What’s a friend without benefits? The kind that borrows money and never pays you back? The one who only calls when they need a designated driver, or when they want some action? Oh, wait…that last one IS the friend with benefits. Silly me.

I find it interesting that a regular booty call is dubbed a “friend with benefits,” when the real benefits of friendship have nothing to do with sex. In fact, most FWB situations I’ve seen have ultimately led to the detriment of what was once a real friendship. We should be calling these pseudo-relationships “friends with sexual incentives” or “friends who screw each other.” But friends with benefits? Any real friend is going to provide you with some benefit. And that doesn’t mean you get naked together.

That’s my two cents.