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!