Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Win a copy of The Grammar Devotional

I am so excited to host The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks' first ever book giveaway!

In honor of tomorrow, National Grammar Day, Macmillan Press has generously offered me a book to give away to celebrate. I chose The Grammar Devotional because I think it's a really great prize! I've been a fan of Mignon Fogarty's Grammar Girl podcasts for years, and this book reflects many of the things I like about her style. Fogarty approaches grammar questions in a way that at once avoids over-simplifying and unnecessary complexity. I also find her examples whimsical, amusing and clarifying. I got The Grammar Devotional as a Christmas gift and I like having it around for entertainment and reference.*

I'm running this contest from now until 5 pm eastern time on Friday. To enter, comment on this post with the following information:
1) your email address so I can contact you if you win
2) your favorite grammatical element or rule (mine is probably quotation marks (duh), but I'm also a big fan of a well-placed semicolon)
I'll chose a winner using a random number generator after the contest has ended. Please only one entry per person.

Please tell your friends about this contest! And also join in the other fun and exciting events for National Grammar Day, or make up your own way to celebrate (It's a work from home day for me, or you know I'd be obnoxiously celebrating at school somehow). Thanks for reading this blog and celebrating our quirky language year round!


*the fact that I find a grammar book entertaining is mostly a reflection on Fogarty's excellence but also my own dorkiness.

149 comments:

Syl (previously known as Shib) said...

My biggest grammar peeve is the misuse of their, there and they're! Honestly, it's not that diffiult to remember when to use each one of those words.

allie said...

Mine is the semicolon! Have considered getting a shirt/tote bag with a giant semicolon...

alliestruzik at gmail dot com

nolajazz said...

Nolajazz@gmail.com
My favorite grammar rule is the who/whom choice. No one ever gets it right but it's funny to watch them try to sound more important when they use whom. I also get a kick out of my mother-in-law who made up the word "exnated." After she had used this word multiple times (I understood it in sentence context), I finally figured out that she had taken the pig latin version of the word "nix" which would be ex-nay and put it into a past tense form!

LKG said...

I like to see a properly used em dash. lkgspamaddress at gmail dot com

-kw said...

kevin@theskateboardmag.com
I like the serial comma — the most important comma of the day.

Catherine said...

I think my favorite grammar element is the Oxford Comma (also known as the Harvard Comma or the serial comma). My boyfriend is a big fan of the bring/take rule and I am forever being corrected.

catherineann at gmail dot com

Annie said...

As am English teacher, my grammar peeves are peeves are many. I teach at a boys school, and many of the boys have not been in school very regularly, so I consider it a significant victory if my boys leave my school at leave knowing their/there/they're.

annie dot lanning at gmail dot com

SEM said...

sarah mckillop at gmail dot com

I think the semicolon is the most underutilized punctuation mark.

And I do judge people based on their spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

(I'm a copy editor.)

Annie said...

And I swear, despite the fact I can't type, that I am not illiterate, just distracted.

Galadriel said...

I'm not sure I have a favorite grammar rule; apparently, I started correcting adults' grammar at the tender age of three. I wanted people to speak correctly. I still do.

However, I am peculiarly attached to the appropriate use of underlining/italics and quotation marks when discussing the title of a published work or piece of art. It irks me that these are so difficult in daily use on the Internet, and so people tend to just use quotation marks for all titles. That's WRONG. WRONG. Wrong, I say!

I'm elfchick also at gmail.

Sam Liu said...

My favourite grammar rule (and the one that I've seen people get wrong most frequently)is the you and I or you and me choice.

samliu@hotmail.co.uk

Daryl Hrdlicka said...

I don't know about FAVE, but the one I spend the most time smashing my head about is putting punctuation inside quotes when there's absolutely no reason to. Never made sense to me. It's just not "good grammar", in my opinion. See? Isn't the comma happier outside?

Alia said...

alia [dot] wolfson [at] gmail [dot] com

My favorite grammar element is the correct use of your/you're and they're/there/their. I see them incorrectly used so often that it makes me cringe. Also, another pet peeve is gratuitous and unnecessary apostrophes. Apostrophes do not mean plural!

Jack said...

While proper semi-colon use is a big one for me, as are quotes, I think the poor sue of commas is driving my crazy. I do proofing for a magazine, and authors either write very long sentences, without using any commas, or, throw,them,in,every chance,they get, as if, they were paid by the, comma and not, the word. Just try and read quickly through that sort o nonsense.

jack at beckmanjm dot com

Jennifer said...

its/it's would be my favorite grammar rule.

I really don't think it's too hard to use the possessive apostrophe in its correct form. :P

jbrussow at gmail dot com

danielle said...

danielle.boudreaux (at) gmail.com

My favorite grammar rule is that who applies to people and that applies to nouns that are not people....I wish more people followed this.

But! My favorite bit of punctuation, which trumps my favorite rule, is the em-dash. However, it seems then that my favorite grammar rule would be the proper usage of the em-dash. I also take it upon myself to educate people about the important differences between the hyphen, the en-dash, and the em-dash.

Mari said...

Oh, it's hard to pick just one! Adviser vs. Advisor is a pet peeve, although spelling isn't the same as grammar. It is part of the game, so I'm going with that. silvermari-at-gmail.

flask said...

eflask at gmail dot com

while i am driven nuts by the inappropriate use of the apostrophe and the overuse of the comma, my heart truly belongs to the semicolon. i might like to tell you that i have never interrupted a moment of passion with a comment on its proper use, but i would be lying.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

My favorite grammar device is when it's or its is used correctly. Also, I'm a big fan of parentheses.

This book looks fantastic!

meg dot mccormick at gmail dot com

melissa said...

mommycrawford at hotmail dot com
This isn't a rule, but I really appreciate people who use capitalization, complete words and sentences, punctuation, and grammar in general, when texting.

kd said...

1) kmdooley // gmail
2) Oh gosh, I can only pick one? I think I can narrow it down to my top four. Firstly, I am a major proponent of semicolons; I truly don't understand why their proper usage evades most people. Secondly, I love the Oxford comma, Harvard Comma, or serial comma. Thirdly, I believe we need to teach the difference between "less" and "fewer" - it seems like fewer teachers cover this distinction in grammar lessons; I think this is one of many reasons why the current generation of students is less literate. Finally, I love a good parallel structure. I'm aware that this is a terrible example, but trying to rewrite my comment to create better parallelism would take more time than I have right now.

Ruth said...

ruthfilters at gmail dot com

I like things to be nicely capitalized. Modern lowercase i to refer to yourself drives me nuts!

Geoffrey said...

My e-mail is: geoffrey dot sorensen at gmail dot com.

I'm not sure if this counts as grammar but I hate when people use the word "literally" when they shouldn't. Many times, the statement isn't that amazing so it can do just fine without the word. Other times, they really mean "figuratively." My favorite was a tweet about some hoax: "This literally blows my mind!" Ouch!

Carly said...

carlydougherty [at] gmail [dot] com

My biggest grammar peeve is when people use apostrophes every time they pluralize a word. "Pizza's are in the kitchen!" "Please leave your computer's locked up!"

Joe St said...

nicjoest at yahoo

I'd like to put a plug in for proper use of who/whom, it's/its, and dash/hyphen. I also feel compelled to point out split infinitives in my students' writing, but it seems to be an utterly lost cause.

ajw_93 said...

I enjoy semicolons; they can illustrate a pause in dialogue, contrast related ideas, or even separate list items!

For a pet peeve, I can't stand it when people use should of instead of should have. I mean, come *on*.

wilsoam at gmail.

Elysium Planitia said...

I get very pleased when I come across an appropriately used en-dash. Poor little guy... so uncommon, so misunderstood...

Kat said...

katskrafts [at] yahoo [.] com

My biggest pet peeve is probably misused apostrophes, especially when used in pluralization. Drives me crazy!

Also, as a teacher, this doesn't always have to do with grammar, but when parents name their kids ridiculous things. Here's the crossover- there was a sweet little girl with the name Sha-Wa. Which isn't bad if it's said that way. But her name was spoken "Sha-Dash-Wa." Cripes!

Yarn Princess said...

I love those books!

My sister uses quotation marks for empasis in darn near everything she writes. She even puts them around her own first name! I've never figured out why and it drives me nuts.

Using the wrong word and bad spelling or pronunciation gets me as well. My 18-year-old daughter wrote to a friend to tell her that she was not aloud to do a particular thing. Our oldest has some spelling issues as well.

I think I can see why it's happening. We got an automated call from the local high school a few days ago regarding the school's schedule. The principal was talking about plans for inclimate weather. What the heck is inCLIMATE weather? The weather we have had lately isn't normal for this time or year for this area so wouldn't that be out-of-climate weather?

Michael said...

I love posting in Spanish so I can use foreign punctuation marks.

¡Olé!

mikekearn (at) gmail (dot) com

goeverson said...

My biggest grammar pet peeve is the usage of the phrase most important.

Correct usage is most important not most importantly.

What’s more importantly... (flawed)

What’s more important... (correct)

sue dot everson at comcast dot net

Jen A said...

wm_star at hotmail dot com

I'm also a big fan of the serial/Oxford comma! It drives me nuts when a style guide prefers to leave it out.

Ann Marie said...

My biggest grammar issue is the Proper Name,you, me, and I rule. I never cared much until it was pointed out that I was utilizing "I" incorrectly in emails now I have to check on others.
email: redneckgirl71@gmail.com

Nancy said...

I'm fond of properly used apostrophes. My biggest pet peeve is when someone writes "breath" when they mean "breathe!"

bonslivres at gmail dot com

Daryl Hrdlicka said...

Hey all, thanks for the tip on the serial comma! I always use it, but never knew there was a specific term for it.

gfxchick said...

I really liked diagramming sentences in school. Do they do that any more?

K La said...

My biggest qualm is "a lot" is two words, not one. The best is a missing comma where one is so very needed.


bannanachild at gmail dot com

sam metal said...

My favorite grammar rule affects all of us, and will hopefully have an effect on our vernacular.

shartman at hotmail dot com

DDA said...

ddantonio at gmail dot com

I am particularly fond of the semicolon; I use it whenever possible.

My pet peeves are homonym abuse and invented gender-neutral pronouns.

dj_polly said...

My favourite is the exclamation mark! But it shouldn't be overused...Something that has been disturbing me in my friends' facebook posts recently is that lose and loose seem to have become confused - how can it be that hard?

amandaducrou at gmail

Kirsten Dana said...

My favorite is the exclamation mark! Why the heck not? It adds life and character to your sentences, which makes things more interesting... although an ellipses is a close second.
kirstendana at gmail dot com!

Becky Mochaface said...

My biggest peeves are comma errors in books, e.g. no comma after an introductory phrase of four or more words. Or no comma in front of the conjunction joining two complete sentences. Oh! And anyway. It's not plural. Never should it be anyways. It's anyway.

beckymochaface at gmail dot com

Melissa said...

wordnerd23 @ gmail.com

Oh, what a fun giveaway! I'm excited about tomorrow, since it's the one day of the year I get to celebrate my English degree. I also have a blog going up about the day. I think I linked to your blog, if that's acceptable.

My biggest peeve (besides the whole apostrophe/plural thing) is definitely the misuse of its and it's.

Heather said...

hl_floyd@yahoo.com

My biggest pet peeve, as an editor, is seeing people uppercase a title or position when it is not immediately in front of a name, but is rather used a description.

The Correct Way: "Amanda, last year's administrative assistant, gave Secretary Claire her old stapler."

People want to uppercase "Administrative Assistant" and make the argument "but Secretary is uppercased!" I constantly see authors return their proofs requesting that I uppercase these titles. That's a big fat NO!

kimbalaya said...

kimbalaya@gmail.com

This must be a record for the number of comments on a post!

One of my pet peeves is the use of the word irregardless. It especially irks me that my spell checker didn't even register when I typed it.

Jaclyn said...

jaclyn.sorensen@gmail.com

I really get annoyed when people incorrectly use their, there, and they're!

robinamarie said...

I love the ellipsis. It instantly makes things seem sinister- I like sinister. :D


fairlyoddrobyn at hotmail dot com

SarahBeth said...

sarahbethr@gmail.com

My biggest grammar pet peeve is the proper use of its/it's. I once sat a friend down to explain the difference to her and how to indicate possession when using proper nouns or prounouns.

Becca said...

I really hate when people misuse its and it's, but I also hate when people modify the word 'unique.' Something can't be sort of, or very, one-of-a-kind!

rebecca.goldman [at] gmail [dot] com

Barb said...

I used to be a ellipsis fan, but they've been overused. I've moved on to the semi-colon. I also enjoy the misuse of can I/may I.
bhmacleod(at)gmail(dot)com

MimiC said...

I teach grammar and try not to be a grammar bully, but I don't like when people use "lay" as an intransitive verb. It's "lie" folks. However, the nice young people in Snow Patrol not only get "lie" right, but they also correctly use a subjunctive form of the verg, in what my kids call the "Good Grammar Song" (Chasing Cars):

"If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?"

MimiC said...

And I misspelled "verb" so what do I know!

Amy Guskin said...

I'm also a huge fan of the semicolon. I despair at seeing phrases separated by commas where there should have been a semicolon (or even in some cases a colon)!

muse at fjordstone dot com

Sarah said...

My favorite is the each other/one another rule. It's surprising how many otherwise literate people don't know the difference.

zeldamac said...

My biggest issue is with people who can't use: they're, there, & their properly. I personally don't understand why it's so hard for people.

rayuhmac at gmail dot com

Naeko said...

Almost nothing bugs me more than seeing people make "should of" out of "should've." It drives me BATTY! I want to just start yelling at them and never stop. Any time I see someone type, "I could of gone to the store," or something similar, I nearly lose it.

o.smith1 AT comcast DOT net

La belle Rachel said...

I love interrobangs; they are the best (nonstandard)punctuation mark ever!
(For those unfortunate souls who do not know, an interrobang is a combination of a question mark and an exclamation point that looks like this: ‽)

verkrur[at]students[dot]wwu[dot]edu

PumaViking said...

I like using semi-colons in lists where the items include commas. And since I'm thinking about grammar things I like, I adore diagramming sentences... and the sentences used to illustrate examples in my college-level grammar text. "I ordered you a cheeseburger with onions" - how delightful!

(this time, with bonus email address! katedixonster at gmail dot com)

LI Laura said...

it's vs. its
using apostrophes when something is plural


zuzoospetalz at aol dot com

danielle said...

I already posted my entry about my favorite rule, so please ignore this as an entry. In reading over the comments, I thought I'd share a sentence I used to teach college freshmen about they're/there/their:

They're there at their house.

I love that sentence.

Jon said...

jonufrock (at) gmail

I have two pet peeves and I don't know which is worse. Is it so many people using an apostrophe after an acronym to make it plural or using an apostrophe before an s when it the word is already plural?

Andrew said...

I "too" am a fan of a properly placed semicolon; I try to use them more often than the average bear. And while it's not a "rule of grammar", I'm fairly certain most people stating "I stand corrected" are usually sitting!

newmana1 at gmail dot com

erin said...

I have a few. The top one is apologetic quotation marks. Others are mucus vs. mucous; appropriate use of hyphen, N-dash, and M-dash; and overuse of -ion and -ment nouns, which contain perfectly useful verbs! (info DAWT erin AT gmail)

Eric said...

Definitely the oxford comma!

eprice40 at verizon dot net

Lxndr said...

lxndr@asu.edu

I adore the grammatical "rules" we borrowed from Latin to make English more classical. Splitting infinitives, ending sentences with prepositions, and so on.

Amber said...

i love when people know the difference between figuratively and literally. also when they can correctly cite in research papers.

flotastic at gmail

Anna said...

Pick me because I'm an English teacher AND March 4 is my birthday! My favorite (or least favorite, depending on how often I see it in my students' papers) is your and you're. I also enjoy a properly placed comma, which gives my 10th graders loads of trouble. anna.cornishpixie@gmail.com

Paige said...

paigemadsen(at)gmail(dot)com

There is so much grammar and punctuation to choose from, but I heart a correctly used hyphen.

Kaa said...

kaa at comeslither dot org.

My biggest pet peeve is when people confuse "then" for "than" and/or vice-versa.

Kiryn said...

My favorite grammar rule is the difference between that and which. I see this error quite frequently, even in professional novels that really should have better editing than that. I have a coworker who insists on doing it wrong in pretty much any situation he can.

vexis58@gmail.com

Melissa H. said...

I adore colons in contexts other than list-making. No one uses them, though.

melissa at ranchero dot com

James Rasmussen said...

jamesrasmus at gmail dot com

I love parentheses! However, something that irks me is when people put ending punctuation inside the right parentheses, and not outside. For example, (This is a bad example.) Nooo! The grammar gods scream at this, and wave their tridents. This is how it's done: (This is a good example). Just my 2 yuan.

-courtenay- said...

courtenaylove1971 at yahoo dot com

My favorite grammar rule is the appropriate (and inappropriate) use of the word myself.

If you can't say "You can ask myself", then you can't say "You can ask Joe or myself."

Becky said...

hall_becky at sbcglobal dot net

I hate the misuse of the apostrophe! Particularly when it's misused on someone's house or mailbox: "The Smith's" The Smith's what? His mail? His mailbox? His cheesy landscaping rock?
I am also fond of taking a red pen to the local weekly newspaper, although I don't have enough cheek to mail it back to the publisher. I think I missed my calling as a copy editor.

Nancy said...

Improperly placed apostrophe's (see what I did there?) make me itch. ntalanATgmailDOTcom

julie said...

I love them all but especially the Oxford Comma.

myrna said...

I cringe when I see how the word
"alright" is becoming widely acceptable.

samann1121 said...

Oh, what fun!

My favorite has got to be the Oxford comma. It's just not a proper list without a comma before the "and"!

phile_1013 at hotmail dot com

Jessica said...

snead.ubikowskygs at gmail dot com

It bothers me when people don't know how to spell and don't care.

I also wish that fast food restaurants would learn how to properly use the $ and ¢ symbols. Don't they know that .99¢ is less than a penny?

David said...

thedude [at] imonger.org
I absolutely despise how it has become so everyday that almost every day now I see the single word everyday when, in fact, the corresponding two-word phrase (every day) was called for.
On the whole I am a grammatical pragmatist and reasonably often find myself corrupting it in order to reduce ambiguity, but when it comes to spelling I am absolutely remorseless in calling people out on it.

Kunal said...

I have several peeves, but one that doesn't seem to have been mentioned here is:

The reason is because .

No. The reason for something is THAT something else happened.

kun dot al dot sahasrabuddhe at gmail dot com

Kim said...

I <3 parentheticals.

And I would love this book like I would love a child.

Andrew said...

Quotation marks misused for emphasis has annoyed/amused me for many years, so I was surprised and vindicated when I found your blog. Do you find misuse concentrated in certain regions? [like Southern New England]
While not really a grammatical error, I find the overuse of phrases such as "like ____ on steroids" wearying.
- atmozap@gmail.com

dmontag said...

dmontag at gmail dot com
My pet punctuation peeve is the misused apostrophe. My boss likes to write about "take several pass's through the solution space".

akprincess72 said...

I too love the who/whom drama & I'm always pleased when it is properly used! =)
akprincess72 @ gmail . com

Cari said...

cari@carimcgee.com

I think I'm going to go with who/whom. I'm making it THE peeve because it bothers my 12-year-old son so much when I correct him on who/whom, and he accepts all the other grammar corrections except for that one.

lisarenee1025 said...

I too enjoy a well-placed semicolon. I'm also a bit fanatical about correct word choice, i.e. too/to/two, there/their/they're. Every time I see an advertisement for a food with less calories than another food, I scream "FEWER!"

lisarenee1025 at hotmail dot com

SivartM said...

travismyhamster at gmail dot com

Semicolon! I love semicolons!
And this is not really a grammatical rule, but I love British spellings. "Flavour", "colour", etc.

Kristen said...

My favorite rule is the your/you're thing. Unfortunately, it seems very few people know the difference anymore.

Quotes for emphasis is annoying, too, but at least this blog allows us to make fun of them! LOL

E-mail - kristen dot marino at yahoo dot com. :)

toep said...

i'm partial to parentheses, and how nicely they work with colon and semicolon for sideways smiley faces!




WV: desse, not to be confused with thems, and dosse

regarding the book, i could probably use a dose of knowledge.

rst104@hotmail.com

Kirsten said...

I always get a special thrill when the express lane in a grocery store is reserved for customers with "15 items or fewer". And I'm getting really tired of seeing hyphens everywhere, as in: "Please drop-off your children here".

kechegoyen@gmail.com

Make It Happen Mama said...

I like it when people know how to sign something from their entire family without misusing a comma, as in, "Love, the Wilsons," as opposed to "Love, the Wilson's," which makes me wonder who Wilson is and what it is of his that is sending love :-(

emilydmurer at gmail dot com

Jen said...

I don't like when people stick commas in inappropriate places. Sometimes you need another form of punctuation, people!

jen_erickson@hotmail.com

Cheryl said...

Things are not different than each other, they are different from each other. I swoon when I see this used correctly.

cduford33@gmail.com

Apryl DeLancey said...

My favorite is the comma rule - most people are in love with it and throw it in everywhere!

Thanks for a win opportunity!

Yiftach said...

Oy, where to begin? I'll start and end with it's/its. I will stop reading anything - newspaper article, blog post, sign, whatever - with that mistake. Occasionally, if I care enough about the material/author, I'll write in with a correction, but mostly I just stop and move on, no matter where I am in the piece.

avisitor at gmail dot com

Alejandro Marino said...

amarino2010@gmail.com

The one grammar mistake that bothers me the most would have to be the misuse of their, they're, and there. It's really not that hard to tell when there should be a their, there, or a they're used.

Georgeanna said...

My favorite grammar rule (in Korean) is actually the set of rules regarding reported speech. This is primarily because I was explicitly told to practice them by my Korean teacher and after practicing them and learning them, I felt so much better about my own speech (and started noticing other people's difficulties using them). So perhaps I am sometimes a little smug that I've figured them out. (And I realized how useful they are.)

My favorite English grammar aspect is the semi-colon; perhaps I use it too much and too casually. I like using it in long lists, where items in the list have commas of their own and thus require me to use a higher-level, so to speak, separator for the items in the list.

georgeanna [dot] hall [at] gmail [dot] com

Colin said...

My favourite grammar rule is the one stating that we're allowed to judge anybody ignorant of any other rule as a hopeless moron, and laugh into their face. Directly into their face. Ha->:( Ha->:( Ha->:(.

[Repost; I thought Google Account automatically gave addresses. I am
colintron, who-lives-at gmail dot com!)

Carla said...

One of mine is using apostrophes to make plural's. Dang!
carla dot ellis at gmail dot com

Jane said...

REPEAT:
Love the apostrophe'

jbh307 at bellsouth dot net

Dan said...

The comma in all its forms!
Teaching English in the Czech Republic exposes me to confusing and sometimes frustrating issues of American versus British English. But because of completely different methods of usage in the Czech language and in English my most beloved item is the comma. I see the poor thing abused all too often.

dan.r.parker at gmail dot com

Secretarial Arts said...

secretarialarts // gmail

There are too many to list. I like knowing the parts of speech.

I volunteer with an ESL class. The teacher just taught everyone that "responsible" is a verb. I almost died.

pjharvey said...

I love a good preposition, personally, something which every good sentence ends with.

Mmm!

wpb -at- tigerears.org

Jennie said...

I heart parentheses. I use them like they're going out of style.

Your blog makes my day!

knee35 at gmail dot com

Jason's mom said...

I agree with previous posts, it annoys me no end to see the unnecessary apostrophe in "its" as in "the store is having it's annual sale."

Dena said...

I <3 the Oxford comma :D

dena (dot) katrina (at) gmail (dot) com

Erica said...

If you are going to use i.e. or e.g. (pretentious in and of themselves) you should punctuate them correctly.
-Erica (ericamukherjee@gmail.com)

-- chase said...

My favorite grammatical element is the English subjunctive-- relatively rare, but always classy.

grammar@roden.cc

Kate said...

Like many others, I'm a big fan of parentheses and semicolons. One of my biggest grammatical pet peeves is "could care less." Is it possible for you to care less, or not?
katedelmonaco at gmail dot com

Erin said...

My biggest grammar pet peeve is when people use "to" and "too" interchangeably!

ecasleen@yahoo.com

Erin_Goldberger said...

i before e, except after c. always.

Larisa said...

I admit, I watch "The Bachelor". Several times in it they would say, "Jake and I's relationship...". *I'S* IS NOT A WORD!

wv: badst--You has the badst grammer evah.

larisas@ charter .net

Dan said...

publisher@pjvoice.com

I hate when people forget to leave a space after periods.

Stephen Cleary, Nito Programs said...

stephenandmandy /* gmail */

It's got to be the Oxford comma. My wife and I are both huge fans of the oft-neglected little guy!

jpetroroy said...

My favorite rule is the one making sure the subject agrees with a dangling participle.

jpetroroy at gmail dot com

cindeb said...

My biggest grammar peeve is the word (or should I say "word")irregardless. I also hate similar nonsensical word inventions like unthaw. It really bugs me that these nonwords eventually make their way into acceptable language just because so many people use them! Like EXpresso!

GRRRR!

Oh! And I've caught even the most intelligent people I know using the word IMPUT. As in, "I'd appreciate your imput on this matter."

cindeb(at)populust(dot)ca

amanda said...

I am a big fan of a properly used ellipsis, although people hyphenating adverbs (properly-used) makes me feel rather stabby.

mandasue at gmail dot com.

David@Red Letter Believers said...

My favorite grammar rule is the overuse of capitalized words. It seems Everyone and Everything is very important and requires top billing!

rupzip at gmail.com

Allison said...

Apostrophes! For the love of all that's holy, how hard is it to use an apostrophe correctly? My children will probably have one engraved on my tombstone, because I'm forever correcting them.

allisonyebert at yahoo dot com

Kathy said...

Mine is the improper use of the word "feel." "I feel it is important..." - no you don't!!! You BELIEVE it is important...

Brianna said...

raingal85@gmail.com

The fact that most people have decided that adverbs no longer exist drives me crazy to no end. They'll say something like, "That person ran so slow." And I find myself yelling back "-ly! Slowly!"

Also, misplaced apostrophes irk me. I work as an online copywriter for an off-road company and I can't stand it when people write "SUV's" instead of "SUVs."

Sidenote: My word verification for this comment is "whiny." That's a little judgmental.

Bruce Rhodewalt said...

Apostrophilia rule's!

bruce "at" RHODEWALT dott commm

BusyMom said...

Oh my! How I love your site! Stumbled upon it from link on Mommin' It Up.

I just wish people would proof read what they write. Spell check does not find errors when you use the wrong your/you're or the wrong their/there/they're.

I'm not expert - I still struggle with sit/set and hang/hung...but I reword if I'm unsure.

Brad said...

I love it when writers use adverbs like "rather" and "quite" to make "unique" anything but unique. I hope none of the quotation marks in the previous sentence were unnecessary.



bradvanunen at gmail dot com

Sarah Templeton said...

Hands down, commas. I adore commas. They are--as Lynne Truss so accurately portrays them in "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves"--the "sheepdogs" of sentence sensicalness.

prismjourney (squiggly thingy) gmail

Michael said...

Hi Bethany! First let me say that this is the only blog I subscribe to. I don't remember how I found it but I get a good laugh every day - so thank you!

I have many pet peeves regarding grammar, but the misuse of who's/whose and it's/its drives me crazy. They're really not that difficult to use properly.

jeepcafe [at] gmail [dot] com

Greg said...

My pet peeve is subject verb disagreement.
gregory.lambert@sbcglobal.net

Deb said...

Big fan of parentheses, they express sarcasm so well! hakeemisfat at earthlink dot net

Charles Powne said...

My favorite still has to be the inappropriate possessive apostrophe.

iyou©mac,com

Moriah Angeline said...

moriahangeline@gmail.com

I am also a fan of a well-placed semi-colon! Once I learned how to properly use one I went through a phase where I was combining way too many sentences using that sassy little punctuation mark. I have since gone to semi-colon rehab and now use them sparingly.

Peeves: Of course, the usual their/they're/there, you're/your, & it's/its misuses. However, I get especially cranky about gratuitous use of apostrophes. I got a Christmas card this year that said Happy Holiday's from the Smith's! The Smith's what?? Don't leave me hanging! And does from belong to Holiday? It boggles the mind....

Which reminds me, I also love the ellipses.

AJP said...

I love it when people use gerunds correctly in a sentence, and when they actually use "me" when they mean "me" instead of replacing it with "I". I also always get a thrill when someone uses "titled" when the mean something has a title instead of "entitled", which means something totally different last time I checked. I think all three are my favorite...I can't seem to narrow it down this morning.

amandaplaysthetuba at yahoo dot com

Billy Muyo! said...

My peeve of the moment is the misuse of "per se."

At the university where I work at, the student workers constantly misused and abuse the phrase.

For awhile, I thought that per se would become the new "like". I think South Park may have even made fun of its abuse.

email: billymuyo@gmail.com

harveytwh said...

Ack! The dangers of only checking this site one day a week!

No time to think: probably a tie between Oxford comma and proper parenthetical use (INCLUDE THE SECOND ONE, PEOPLE!). If I win, I will share the majority of my numbered list of peeves to show my gratitude.

mxg77 at cwru dot edu

harveytwh said...

^I did say "no time" but I didn't mean no time to proofread! Bah! Proper parenthetical use *of commas*. For example, the second one here: Bob Bobson, the mayor of Bobville, stated today that all residents must be named Bob.

Kris said...

I am also an English teacher and, therefore, have many pet peeves. I think the worst would have to be using apostrophes to indicate plurals. I have a standing rule in my classroom that if a student brings in a picture of a printed material with an error, and explains the error, they get extra credit. I see the apostrophe error all the time, yet, sadly, none of my students have brought any in this year.

Kris said...

argh! None of my students *has* brought any in...

Mindy said...

mindylng@yahoo.com. I like commas around non-essential clauses.

Stephanie said...

My biggest pet peeve is when people say or write "would of" instead of "would've." I always have to mentally correct it in my head. Drives me nuts!

MichelleB said...

It's definitely the apostrophe catastrophe people cause when showing something that belongs to "it". And spelling errors.

Linda said...

I should mark this day on my calendar for next year. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

I'm not sure if I can pick just one. The first one that comes to mind is the misuse of the word "entitle," as in "The book is entitled Alice is Wonderland."

Then there's the whole subject / verb agreement bruhaha. If it's his item, they should not be using it, without his express permission.

And why do people need do use so many clauses in one sentence anyway? I prefer to use short sentences.

I'm a big fan of Talk to the Hand and Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

This is fun.

Thanks.

P.S. I love finding typos in books and magazines, don't you?







lindab142 at gmail.com

Melinda said...

"Could/should/would of" and "different than" are just two of my grammatical pet peeves. There's a sign in a nearby town that advertises "Lot's for Sale" and every time my children and I pass it, we ask, "What is Lot selling?" I am a word nerd, and have tried to raise my children to become the same.

mgb1965 (at) gmail (dot) com

Katherine said...

sayaitani at gmail dot com

I absolutely love the Oxford Comma. I'm also a fan of the proper use of your and you're.

Oh, and I can't stand it when people think they need to use an apostrophe to pluralize words!

Chris Freeman said...

The worst atrocity of Internet grammar is the use of "(sp?)" after a word. You're on the internet! Look up how to spell the word!

christopherbriggsfreeman@gmail.com

Diana said...

dianalucyrooks at gmail.com

I work at a small-town public library in Indiana and spend a lot of time editing program descriptions for publicity. "Unnecessary" quotation marks and capitalized Common Nouns abound.

The rule I probably champion most is the sparing use of exclamation points. Learning about food safety at the library doesn't sound fun? Well! Come on in!! Learn all about food safety as we prepare yummy snacks!!! The exclamation points prove that this is the most exciting program ever!!!! No additional persuasion needed!!!!!

Sarah said...

Ha! Guess it would help to read your instructions! Posted yesterday, but here's my email address for when you want to let me know I won:

baedekergirl at comcast.net

toep said...

@Kate "One of my biggest grammatical pet peeves is "could care less." oooooh, yeah i so hate that!!! I always thought it was "i couldn't care less" at least that's the way i say it.

Sean Healy said...

I was going to say my pet peeve is your/you're, they're/their/there, its/it's, or perhaps the good old Oxford comma, but after reading through the comments, I have to say that it's people who don't realize that using the apostrophe to form the plural is NOT against the rules in some contexts. It is considered an acceptable variant style with acronyms, abbreviations, and decades, and in fact, is often recommended for single letters and numbers. (I got all A's.)

Oh and punctuation goes inside the quotations or parentheses when it logically belongs to the thing inside them, outside them otherwise.

jalopeura at hotmail dot com

Sean Healy said...

Dang, I missed the deadline. That's what I get for living in Europe.