30 June 2008

grammar cop

Let's talk about introductory interjections.

(sing along: Interjections, for excitement, or emotion, are generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point or by a comma when the feeling's not as strong.)

I've seen a couple of things around the blogoshpere lately that are commenting on good news and start with alas. One sighting I'd let slip as a typo made in the throes of emotion. But, then I saw it again...and the grammar cop in me itches to educate.

I'm fairly sure the writers meant at last.
Alas is a completely different word that expresses regret.

Tomorrow is moving day for me. If I were sad about it, I'd say, "Alas, it's moving day." But, since I'm really excited that it's finally here I'll say, "At last! It's moving day!"

Just wanted to make sure everyone had that down in case there is some news later this week...especially if it's about me being one step closer to a lass or two--at last!

Okay, fellow grammar cops. Aside from homophone confusion and its resulting apostrophe catastrophes, what grammar infractions have you spotted lately?


Maggie said...

I have a gripe. I hate the all lower-case typing. It worked for e.e. cummings, but after that it's just plain annoying. It's actually difficult to read. I know some people type everything in lower case except for the G in God. That's sweet, but I'm pretty sure God will understand if you use correct punctuation.

The other thing that annoys me on blogs is when people hit return after every sentence. There's a little thing called a paragraph and it's there for a purpose. Group your like thoughts together in a paragraph, please! It's so hard to read a post, when you pause after every sentence.

There. I think that's all of my gripes for today!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I've spotted any grammar errors lately, but when you talk about interjections it makes me think of that episode of school house rock - which I will now have playing in my head for the remainder of the day. Do you have that dvd for d2b?


Tami said...

I have to admit, I have pretty bad punctuation, grammar and other writing skills for a journalist. (That's why I originally went into T.V. instead of print and why I rely pretty hard on my proofreader.) I write like I think...with elipses, commas and paragraph returns to make my thoughts sound like they're bouncing around in my head.
I know I'm a repeat offender. Reading my stuff must drive you nuts! ;>) But I know you love me anyway.

InventingLiz said...

Something that I see a lot, and it makes me crazy when I do, is mis-using "of." Like this: "I would of done it if I could of, but I didn't - do you think I should of?" That drives me absolutely bonkers!

And I also agree with Maggie about using all lower-case.

Maura said...

Tomorrow's your big moving day - hurray! (I'm saving my "at last" for you know what!) Enjoy settling in.

I have many grammar gripes. I keep my old, tattered copy of Shrunk & White's "The Elements of Style" on my desk and am sorry to see the correct use of grammar on the decline. Anyway, my biggest gripe is the widespread misuse of "everyday" and "every day". The first is an adjective, as in "everyday savings", not "savings everyday". The second should be worded "savings every day". (I use that example because I worked in Marketing at T.J. Maxx, and pointed out the mistake on the wall of every store! It was changed.) :-)

sandy said...

The grammar problem that I see often is the lack of hyphens between words that should be grouped together to describe something. Such as, "I have a flea-bitten cat." Or, "He's just a two-timing, beer-drinking, seat-of-the-pants cat wrangler." I could be all wet here with regard to hyphens, but I think that's the way it's supposed to be.

With regard to Maggie's gripe about lowercase: I could be wrong but my guess is that the fad may have started when computer programming languages were becoming more widespread, and software engineers were the majority of those using email at the time. Languages like C and C++ were very popular when email took off, and perhaps the no-caps fad took off as well.

Elle said...

The opposite of Margaret. All caps. Ugh. Drives me insane.

The other is the blatant overuse of exclamation points. My mother is the worst offender.

I also can't stand people's spoken bad grammar. A sentence does not end with at. (although I just did) Please use the correct tense when using a verb.

So when you're happy (hooray) or sad (aww)... Damn you woman.

Rachael said...

"Apostrophe catastrophes": that's hilarious! Your/you're gets me every time: like nails on a chalkboard.

Using phonetic spellings such as "sike" or "wallah" instead of "psych" or "voila!" itches my reading eyes too.

m-w.com is a sorely underutilized friend to all.

(although spell-check thinks "wallah" is a word, so what do I know!) And, normally, I don't spell-check my comments, but now I'm paranoid! :)

But, I try to calm my inner anal-retentiveness and not correct people. I think mostly people find it pompous and/or condescending, not endearing. (Well, it's endearing to the like-minded...)

Plus, we all have our vices: mine is the willy-nilly use of punctuation and a fondness for the ellipsis and the comma.

Anxiously awaiting some news from you, BTW.

Suzanne said...

Hear! Hear!

I almost typed Here! Here! just to drive you nuts. Tee hee.

Tina in CT said...

I hear people often using an adjective when they should be using an adverb.

I bet you are excited and looking forward to tomorrow's move. We'll be looking forward to pictures of your new apartment.

Holly said...

People make grammatical mistakes alot. :-)

Annie said...

One of my pet peeves is misplaced quotation marks....i.e. using quotation marks where italics are intended. For example, on sign posted at a school near my house:


What is that supposed to mean? Sounds as though they are only pretending to take registrations, but are not really doing so.

Maggie could be right about lower case, but frankly I dislike more fervently all upper-case WHICH MY COLLEAGUE USES BECAUSE HE IS A POOR TYPIST - BUT I CAN'T STAND A WHOLE PAGE OF IT!

Anonymous said...

"Hamburger's on sale"
"Loosing a referral"
"Your cute."


Melissa said...

It all bothers me... ;) Especially with regard to writings for school or work. But I'm less critical when I'm reading someone's personal journal, mostly because I'm also likely to show a level of disregard for proper sentence structure (etc.) in my personal writings.

Heidi said...

Is everyone talking about me?

Anonymous said...

Whew! I just used "alas" in a post on FRUA, so I was afraid for a minute you were talking about me. I used it correctly, though, so no worries.

Emjay, every day/everyday drives me nuts, too! My hat's off to you for actually getting somebody to correct it on that big a scale.

We have a cadre of grammarians at work. Misplaced apostrophes are a big gripe. I can't think of others specifically at the moment. The main grammarian, however, regularly uses lay when he should use lie. I really should correct him on it some time.

One former colleague would say, "I feel bad for him," then correct herself to "badly." I never could quite bring myself to tell her she had it right in the first place.

I can't stand ALL CAPS. all lowercase doesn't particularly bother me in informal writing.

Others, already mentioned or not:
- alot (or sometimes allot for "a lot")
- loosing a referral
- need some advise
- between you and I

There's a local pooper-scooper business that advertises on bus benches. At first I noticed that some say, "Poopy Paws," and others say, "Poopy Paw's." Bad sign painter, to add that apostrophe! However, one day I saw the truck. It's labeled, "Poopy Paw's." If it were "Poopy Paw's Pooper Scooper Service," then I could buy it...the service belonging to Poopy Paw. But it's not. Just an apostrophe that doesn't belong in the business name, and the sign painter who did some of the bus benches corrected it.

votemom said...

sorry maggie.

i love how all lower-case looks. it's pleasing to my eyes.

and i do capitalized God.

i never dreamed it would annoy anyone.

but, even if i knew you, i wouldn't stop.

this is a fun and funny thread.

my gripe is also the overuse of exclamation points. i have a good friend who does it. not only does she use them at the end of sentences that do you require them, she types anywhere from 3-6 of them for dramatic effect i guess.

Tina in CT said...

How is move day going?

Lauri said...

Oh... I am the worst when it comes to grammar. I am often making major grammar mistakes on my blog. I often put commas in the wrong place and let my sentences go on & on and I am a fan of using these little doo hickeys.......

I also hate all lower case typing, my husband is famous for this.

Annie said...

Oh, dear! I'm "caught" too! Not only do I occasionally use multiple exclamation points!!! I will also use, "alot", knowing all the while it is wrong; I must be in the vanguard for a change of usage!

One change of usage I don't like is the amalgamation into compound words of words that previously demanded a hyphen - as in: lowercase vs. lower-case

So, I have convinced even myself that there is no consistency in my strong grammarian opinions whatsoever.

Deb said...

Now I'm going to have to watch what I type. I generally check grammar and spelling before I post but sometimes I miss things.

I do not like the all caps. My sister does this in e-mails. It's like yelling at the person that is reading it.

Have fun moving and settling in.

Tina in CT said...

Day One in your new digs. How did the move go yesterday? Are you (and your cat) finding your way among all the boxes?

Anonymous said...

What bothers me is people who do not read their posts or emails first before hitting send. Today I got an email from a client who used the word "sited" when by the sentence it was clear he meant "cited".

Regarding being a grammar cop, my dh's grandfather was called the grammar police by all his grandchildren because he would always correct you. Two of his grandchildren who worked as EMT's in NYC had him a badge made up. He was so proud.

Tami said...

It annoys me to no end when people use the word conversate!!!!!!!

votemom said...

get your computer set up already!

Anonymous said...

Another one:

"I can help who's ever next."

Hurray for the new apartment! Hope you have Internet soon!

Anonymous said...

All of the above.

AKA, the lazy person's gripe. :-)