re: 11 Most Common Grammar Gaffes On Social Media
Glad to see another in the campaign for grammar.
Texting can be grammatically correct -- abbreviations don't affect the grammar.
Your copy editor, you say, probably found a mistake before this was published. This copy editor has found more quibbles/peeves.
No. 5 = Right! but you demonstrate the mistake in No. 7 (see below).
No. 6 = Yes, great to see the serial comma being promoted but it shd be: different from.
No. 7 = This shd read ["loose".], but that's another problem (see No. 5).
No. 10 = Good explanation; I tell ppl just to throw out the others and you won't make a mistake.
No. 11 = No doubt one of the biggest bugbears. Differentiating between good and well occurs in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian. (So it drives me crazy when French- or Spanish-speaking ppl make this mistake that they wd not in their own language.)
GOOD: morals, ethics, ability, ie saintliness and expertise
WELL: health, general state
They do understand when asked if they can tell the difference between a person who is good and a person who is well or a little boy who is good and one who is well.
A good athlete and an athlete who is well, not sick or injured.
The Olympics provides a great opportunity for ppl to hear the difference however I've heard the mistakes and even in published reports, alas.
Nos. 5 and 7
Please, US, start doing the accurate and rational. No. 5 is right; No. 7 is an aberration.
Don't put punctuation in something you're quoting unless it's part of the quotation!
We're in the digital age.
Typesetters started putting the comma and the period inside the quotation marks even though it did not make sense b/c those little marks broke off at the end of a line. We don't have that problem so we can keep the accuracy of only putting inside quotation marks what actually is being quoted.
["loose."] is nonsense, and not true.
Read The Economist or the Guardian to see the proper positions. In Canada, as in many things, it's done both ways but I'm fighting on the side of accuracy.
That it's illogical and inconsistent is obvious when reading an American publication that has, for instance:
The plays omitted were well-known ("Macbeth", "Hamlet", and "Romeo and Juliet").
but without parentheses:
They did not perform "Macbeth", "Hamlet", and "Romeo and Juliet."
Someone mentioned that some university students in California are rebelling and insisting on the rational/correct placement of commas and periods wrt quotation marks.
Overthrow typesetters' rules/needs/wishes!
It's difficult to understand why the US is so determined not to fix an unreasonable practice. Very easy, no?
Anyway, though perhaps Sisyphean, the climb is worth it -- to ease the mind with fewer nonsensical or irrational words or combinations (or punctuation). Actually I was surprised you didn't include countable and uncountable nouns to point out when to use fewer and less.
Please allow me to add an optimistic note.
Instead of correcting, I always give the explanation of why something is right and the other wrong. Most ppl are grateful b/c it had never been explained to them. Once understood, they can go on b/c the principle/grammar makes sense and they don't make the mistake again. They are disabused of the feeling it's arbitrary with no rational basis so it matters little wch is used.
Alas, the teaching of grammar has fallen below the acceptable level (in UK, US, and Canada) and now often only is given any time in the teaching of foreign languages since necessary for functions and relationships in constructing a sentence.
A group that frequently appreciates an explanation is those who say "with you and I". (And yes, Obama once said "with Michelle and I" and that made it into the letters to the editor in The Economist.) The mistake is called hypercorrection. (See No. 10.) These ppl are often trying to be correct and they think I is correct although they wd never say that normally. They are trying to be correct but go so far that they advertise the fact they don't know grammar -- the opposite of their intention.
Yes, apostrophes are impossible to understand for someone just looking at signs. Some writers, I swear, use them like sprinkles on the icing on cupcakes. Possessive or contractions! not plurals!
Correct is Phelps's medals. That possessive S at the end is only left off it the word ends in S and is PLURAL. Many apparently forget the second requirement.
Think of the movie "Bridget Jones's Diary" and the fact that Bridget is the Joneses' daughter.
Well, sorry to ramble on but the article was sent to me and the temptation to comment, compliment, and encourage was irresistible.
Thank you for shining a light on an essential element of clear and precise communication generally understood.