Friday, February 29, 2008

Don't Judge Me!

Okay, I don't really think anyone out there is really JUDGING me... but that is one of my favorite catch phrases, so I just say it all of the time. I feel like it gives me permission to say whatever the heck I want! Ha!

In the spirit of non-judgy-ness (I just made up a word, I think), I would like to share with you, my friends, some of the common grammatical mistakes that irritate me beyond belief. Again, don't judge me. But I do secretly judge people who DO make these mistakes on a regular basis. Okay, not really. I mostly just wish they'd had better English teachers. So. Without further ado...

Misuse of the apostrophe -- Seriously, people. If you are trying to make a word PLURAL, it does NOT have an apostrophe before the "s". Just add the "s". My last name is Lawson. Therefore, as a family, we are not the Lawson's. We are the Lawsons. If I were trying to show ownership, I would add an apostrophe. For example: the Lawsons' dog, the Lawsons' house, etc. See how I did that? I pluralized AND showed ownership. If it were a singular person or thing showing ownership, a sentence would read something like, "Kelly Lawson's car is silver."

Their, There, They're -- people often get these mixed up. I will now correctly use each word in a sentence:

Please put my Dr. Pepper over there. (Shows location)

Please give the Lawsons their Dr. Pepper. (Shows ownership)

They're drinking Dr. Pepper today. (A contraction for they are)

Your & You're -- people also often mix-up these two words. Again, the best way for me to demonstrate this would be by example:

I like your outfit.

You're going to look great in that outfit! (You're is only to be used as a substitute for you are).

I vs. Me -- this is a understandably a little trickier. When do you say, "You and I" versus "Him and me"? Basically, it's quite simple when you think about it. If you can take out the other person besides yourself (I or me) and have the sentence make sense-- then you're right on.

For example, the sentence, "Thank you for meeting with my mom and I today," is incorrect. A good test? Take out "my mom". You wouldn't say "Thank you for meeting with I today."

You WOULD however, be correct in saying, "My mom and I went to a meeting today." Because if you take out "my mom", the sentence would read, "I went to a meeting today." Makes sense, right?

The official explanation? “I” is a nominative pronoun and is used as a subject of a sentence or clause, while “me” is an objective pronoun and used as an object.

Affect vs. Effect -- affect is a verb that means to influence. Effect is a noun that means a result. Basically, you can affect something to cause an effect.

I think we'll stop there for now. These are the biggies that bug me the most. I know, I'm a jerk. And a nerd. I love grammar, and I love spelling. I will be the first to admit that I do not always use perfect grammar. I know for a fact that I am "comma happy". I know that I do not always use proper sentence structure.

However, these things that I have mentioned are a few COMMON errors that I am lucky enough to have grasped when they were first explained to me. I share them with you to complain, yes. But also to help you "get" these rules of language if you weren't already aware!


Shannon said...

I'm so glad you wrote this! That drives me crazy too! The one I hate the worst is the apostrophe/plural/possession business. Really, I hate it. For some strange reason, I was also one of those few unlucky kids who just happened to understand this stuff. I still remember the day I learned the difference between "are" and "our;" (yes, when you grow up in Texas, they sound the same). Admittedly, I do sometimes struggle with the I/me issue. Anyway, I loved this post!

KellyLawson22 said...

Thanks for the love, Shannon! :) The worst is when the apostrophe is used incorrectly in publication or on public signs. Do you know that car dealership in Nicholasville that sells "Toyota's, Honda's, and Nissan's"? My stomach turns every time I drive by!

Kristin said...

I love your post and it made me thing of my own personal pet peeve-
when people mix up good and well, as in "you did good on that test." No, no, no. It is "you did well on that test" because good is an adjective (and can only desribe nouns) and well is an adverb (and is used to describe verbs or action). I can't help but want to correct even strangers on this one.

Hope you and baby L are doing well.

Spiegs said...

AMEN sister! These kinds of things drive me crazy too! I can't count the amount of Christmas cards I got with "The Friday's" or "The Smith's" - I'm not putting your picture on my refrigerator if it has grammatical mistakes. I can't keep looking at it!

Love you!

Anonymous said...

As long as the band wagon has rolled up to my door, I may as well jump on:

"irregardless"???? WHAT is that?

the word is "regardless". Period.

thanks for the forum to be able to get that off my chest:-)


Arch said...

so in order to keep all yall peoples from making judgements against peoples like me myself or i i have decided against all uses of apostrophes and punctuations and the like

Nathan & Stephany said...

I love this. I was a mass communications major in college and copy editing was one of my favorite classes. I noticed something on your post that i wanted to point love of course...

"Their, There, There"
Was the last "there" supposed to be "They're"? "They're" would be the third "they're" you wanted to talk about right???


KellyLawson22 said...

Caught! Making a mistake! On the post where I was pointing out other people's mistakes! Hilarious! Thanks, Steph! Oh geez... I'm so embarrassed, and am correcting it right NOW.


KellyLawson22 said...

Liz!! I also hate the word irregardless. Because it's NOT a word. :)

Kristin-- I still remember the day my teacher in 8th grade really clarified the whole good and well thing. It seemed so simple once someone explained it to me. Good or well, Who can tell? She's a good writer, she writes well. That handy little rhyme has helped me out quite a bit since the 8th grade.

And Arch? You're hysterical!

Dr Bill said...

Well, since we're judging, let me jump in, too. Typos and punctuation are one of my FAVORITE pet peeves! Of course it would take an equally or even MORE obsessively picky person to point this out, so I'm really judging myself! But, since you ARE a Texas girl, this is something you really should be aware of. There is no period in Dr Pepper! Boy, talk about PICKY!! And it appears there's (there + is) no period in Dr Bill, either! And, hey, you didn't talk about "its" and "it's". Isn't it weird that the POSSESSIVE form DOESN'T have an apostrophe? What FUN we're having now! wE REALLY ARE NERDS!

Jana said...

please never read my blog because my grammar will make you want to shoot me. also, can i start sending papers your way? i write A papers, but have B grammar.

KellyLawson22 said...

ah yes, Dr Bill... you are a NERD. :) But apparently so I am I! I actually remembered (as I was writing this post) our whole discussion about the invitations for my bridesmaids' (bridesmaid's) luncheon-- you were very insistent that the apostrophe went in a certain place and I disagreed with you. I think I won, but you probably should have. Well, at least you'll always win at Scrabble.

And Jana-- Um, is it super-nerdy of me to say that YES I would love to read your papers!!! That's one of my favorite things to do. So if you ever want to actually take me up on that, I'd be delighted.

Abbie said...

This made me smile. I remember being in elementary school and being frustrated with the common misuse of apostrophes in advertising. The rules really are not that difficult. The one that truly drives me nuts is when people put an apostrophe after a heart.

Ingram Gang said...

I, too, am a judger. I cannot believe the amount of produced material with incorrect grammar. The problem: I am no grammar queen...just one who had does remember a few things from English class. And by few, I mean FEW!
I loved this post though, it's so hilarious.
I'll stay tuned for more Grammar with Kelly!

Ingram Gang said... who had does...
What the heck? I told you. FEW.

Christin said...

(by the way, Spencer writes our blog-sometimes without letting me proofread-don't judge me based on his writings)

Anonymous said...

Ive always loved the Lawson's. Their great. They have such a positive affect on everyone they meet. Me and my husband really had a great time with them when they were in Sacramento. Kelly and me laughed and laughed!


Neener said...

HAHAHA, was this encouraged by my list?

I'm glad this grammar lesson got a post all to itself! I mean, looks at the responses! Apparently, proper grammar and punctuation is something to blog about!

KellyLawson22 said...

LJ-- HILARIOUS. I LOVED your post. Thank you for using every single one of my grammatical pet peeves in your comment. Much appreciated. :)

And yes, Nina-- this WAS inspired by your recent post! Isn't that great? I think that this is my most heavily commented on post to date!

Scott Martin said...


Crystal said...

I just have one more to add. I cannot stand it when people end a sentence with "at". It is not "where you are at" it is simply "where you are". It wouldn't be so bad if our pastor didn't end the alter call with that every week. He says, "Raise your hand wherever you're at". I know my grammar (and definitely my spelling and punctuation) is terrible, but prepositions do not need to be added on to the end of a perfectly good sentence!