Those of you who’ve been following my posts for a long time (hi, Mom and Dad) know that I am a grammar curmudgeon. Seeing grammatical errors makes me … well, a little crabby! Since you’re reading a school and library publisher’s blog, I suspect you can relate to my affinity for grammar (if not the neurotic crabbiness it occasionally inspires!). So I hope that you’ll indulge me while I use this blog as a forum to vent about four grammatical sticky points that have been driving me nutso lately. Here goes.
1. Egregious misuse of reflexive pronouns. For whatever reason, I’ve been spotting this all over the place in the last few weeks. Example: “Submit your registration forms to Jane Doe or myself.” Auggghh! Unless you’re referring back to the subject of a sentence or a clause—e.g., “I will make a sandwich for myself”—a reflexive pronoun should never enter into your sentence or your clause. Never. Never ever.
2. Mixing up past tense and past perfect tense. Example: “I should have ran away.” You should have run away, people. If you ran, that means you did do what you’re saying you should’ve done in the first place.
3. Using honing in in place of homing in. I get why people make this error. Really and truly, I do. After all, people confuse these phrases so often that the latter sometimes sounds wrong when it’s right. But here’s the rule of thumb: If you’re talking about focusing on something in particular, the word is home. If you’re talking about sharpening your skills, then hone it is. So you home in on an issue. But you hone your math skills.
4. Using suppose to instead of supposed. When did this get started? Why has it taken off as of late? I don’t have the answer to these questions. What I do know is that I wish the phrase suppose to would disappear as suddenly as it seems to have appeared!
Whew! I feel ever so much better now, dear blog readers. And if you made it through to the end, I just know you can relate. So, do tell: What grammatical errors drive you crazy?