are you using these words right? {don’t look stupid}

we are getting stupider, i knew it.

thanks alot a lot, social media. and autocorrect.

go home, your moms are calling.

which words are you using right?

in the few years i spent studying literature and writing in college, one of my favorite teachers {who taught creative writing} said that as writers, we learn the rules, so we can break them.

that is why, you may have noticed, i don’t ever capitalize. for some stupid reason i decided then and there, in that summer class, that if i ever wrote a book it would look just like i want it to, and it would sound just like me. since that is way far down on my to-do list, i get to do that here.

 

i also have a love affair with sentence fragments. love them.

see? short, simple, not even real sentences. but does it sound just like me? yeah, yeah it does.

that’s the fun of writing for me. imagining you here, sharing a cookie, chatting like real people do.

however, i also spent a lot of my time in college, as many do, learning the ins and outs of editing, grammar, punctuation, and correct spelling/usage of words.

sadly, social media wants to make us dumb. it’s like the ring of power and it’s calling for you… {my precious…}

we forgive all of the improper usages of words because “they probably just wrote that on their phone. it’s autocorrect…”

and that’s the good news, and the bad news, and the ugly news about social media.

 

so, why should it matter?

well, while in college i had a guy ask me out on facebook. iphones didn’t exist, facebook was still for “college kids only”, and he thought he was being cute to say,

“have you scene the new _______ movie yet?” {i obviously can’t even remember the movie…he was THAT forgettable.}

i’m sorry, what? SCENE??

humored, i thought, “it was late, maybe he just wasn’t thinking clearly…”

so i wrote back, but later he asked again, and still used SCENE instead of SEEN.

i wish it didn’t, but it completely tainted him for me and i never responded to his informal request to see whatever that sub-par movie would have been…

my husband isn’t a perfect speller, and he doesn’t know a lot of unnecessarily large words that i happen to know.

i don’t hold that against anyone, nor do i believe that you are stupid for not knowing everything there is about grammar and spelling {i sure don’t!},

but scene and seen??

come on, guys.

 

so, to avoid losing what could be your future spouse,

or just embarrassing your father who fronted your education,

i want to set a few of these straight.

these are just a few of the many word usage issues i have seen multiple times on facebook recently.

every one of these i have seen more than once before.

and a few that i added after consulting one of my favorite books that i STILL keep near. literally, and emotionally: The Grammar Bible.

 

ps: if you really want to feel nerdy and didn’t know or remember from english, these are called homophones.

words that are pronounced the same, but are definitely not the same.

the one i see MOST often?: to vs. too.

if you struggle with that one think: the extra “o” is indeed extra, like it’s too much.

 

someone sent me a professional email. a thank you that said, “thank you for being apart of this program.”  [apart from this program… but i was a part. i was a HUGE part!]

so… no thanks?? that’s a big one if you want to sound smart!

 

words we use incorrectly homophones 1

 

one i see all the time online is sight instead of site. site is in the word website!!

and my husband {who now second guesses everything he texts to me for fear i’ll correct him} asked the other day about “ya” – our slang term for “you”….

and i will NEVER forget the their/there/they’re homophones. my high school english teacher taught me that one and it stuck. she gave us all back our papers once, without grades on them, then wrote these words on the board, and we spent all day on it.

when i taught, i did the same. i was teaching theatre and i still made those kids learn their *theres.  because of her, it’s my pet peeve too, but now they’re all genius writers i’m sure… words we use incorrectly homophones 2

 a lot. that’s how often i forget about the words: a lot. i will type it as alot, and it still looks right, but it’s not.

don’t feel like i’m judging you for your writing on facebook, i’m not…

but yeah, i sort of am. i want to believe that everyone has a phone they don’t understand, or not enough time to proofread everything they type online,

but it’s frustrating to me that we spend all this time learning a language, just to spend all day reading an abbreviated, and usually incorrect version of it!words we use incorrectly homophones 3

feel free to share this post if you’ve ever caught someone using the wrong word!

* thanks to the reader who caught my mistake. This previously read there’s which would be there is, not what I intended which is the plural word for there. How embarrassing! ;)

4 comments on are you using these words right? {don’t look stupid}

  1. melchamberlain@gmail.com'
    Mel
    June 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm (6 months ago)

    Hahaha, if only those Ellington kids listened to you! Miss those crazies, as much as I DON’T miss correcting their grammar / spelling / etc. Can I make one correction? In the phrase: “i still made those kids learn their there’s…” there shouldn’t be an apostrophe in “there’s”. That makes it possessive, not plural. It’s my current major online pet peeve. :-) Love this!

    Reply
    • Meg
      June 22, 2014 at 12:11 am (6 months ago)

      Ah crap. I knew there would be one in this post somewhere!! You are right, it would be theres, even though there technically isn’t a plural word for there… But yes, I can’t believe I didn’t catch it. It makes me cringe that it’s there! Thank you!! And, oye, loved those kids, but man, the writing…. Whoah.

      Reply
  2. Kmoyers09@hotmail.com'
    Kassi
    June 20, 2014 at 7:20 am (6 months ago)

    I loved this post and you missed one I see quite a lot of on Facebook as well…

    are and our….

    Not so much mis-using “our” but I’ve seen quite a few people saying “we are on are way” What the heck!
    I don’t understand how they can get mixed up, but I guess they do?

    Reply
  3. Jhill389@msn.com'
    Jenn
    June 21, 2014 at 9:47 pm (6 months ago)

    The one that gets my goat is when people say they’re going to “sale” something. Makes my blood boil! That one’s not even a true homophone.

    Reply

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