The IP School of Gooder English

Alright, I’ve suffered in silence….quasi-silence….long enough. I can’t take this anymore. The seemingly endless amount of poor grammar hurts my soul.

Before we begin, I’d like to note that I am not going to slam people who speak in LolCats. That is meant as a joke, and is generally used sparingly. If someone starts abusing their “I can haz?” privileges, have no fear, they will be drawn and quartered, and then I will sell all of their belongings on Ebay and use the money to buy the 80th anniversary edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.

First lesson: there, their, and they’re.

“There” refers to a location. Where is the book? Over there. For a more abstract use: There are only a couple ways to use the form “there”, so stop screwing it up.

“Their” is a possessive. You should know what that means, but just in case you were too busy passing notes in your middle school English classes to pay attention, that means “their” is used when the noun in the sentence belongs to someone. That delicious, mouthwatering, nearly-orgasmic sushi is (unfortunately) theirs.

“They’re” is a contraction. That little tick mark between y and r? That isn’t decorative, amazingly enough. It really does have a purpose. It’s called an apostrophe, and it takes the place of an extracted letter, in this case the a in are. So, if we replace the apostrophe with the a, “they’re” becomes “they are”, and we all know how to use that phrase, yes? Please? For the love of all things holy?

Edit here: Holy crap, I fail at life. I could have sworn I typed ‘contraction’ when I first posted this. Thank you, Angela! You are wonderful :)

Second lesson: loose versus lose.

I can’t even begin to understand how these two words are confused; they mean completely different things. However, I’ve been seeing this mistake for a few years now, and it’s not getting any better.

“Lose” means to misplace/get rid of something, or it is the opposite of ‘to win’. As in, I hate when I lose my pens because then I have to buy more, or My dad’s volume reaches ungodly levels when the Red Sox lose.

“Loose” is the opposite of tight. My pants are loose; I must have lost some weight! Also can be used as a slang term when talking about those who are sexually promiscuous, i.e. “loose woman”.

My hand to God, I will brutally maim the next person who switches those two words around. Public school education is NO EXCUSE.

I have a few other more generalized gripes. Run-on sentences, comma splices, apostrophe errors (it’s versus its), lack of capitalization at the beginning of sentences….look, people, these are things that can be fixed easily and will help you be perceived at least as intelligent as fifth-grade GATE students. Please, go forth and try not to suck at this. It makes the rest of us cry like starving Ethiopian children.

One last thing: if you use ’2′ for to (or too) or you spell “what” with a u, just give up now. There is no hope for you; you have lost your soul and you will probably spend eternity in the circle of hell that also houses those who don’t take advantage of deodorant and those who write Snape/Hermione (or Sirius/Lupin) slash.

6 Responses to “The IP School of Gooder English”

  1. Grant Says:

    The one that bugs me is when a lot is written as one word. That’s the WORST!

  2. Angela Says:

    Hate to break it to you, but “they’re” isn’t a conjunction, it’s a contraction. Conjunctions are words like “and,” “but,” and “or” which are used to connect words, phrases, and clauses. Contractions are shortened forms of words formed by replacing omitted letters with an apostrophe.

  3. D. Says:

    Well, this is just friggin hysterical.
    While I empathize with your exsaperation over the decline and degradation of even marginally competent grammar (not to exclude my own), Angela highlights the caution against intemperance.
    I know that you know the difference between a conjunction and a contraction….yet…people make mistakes. Soften a bit and make some allowance….except for Friggin LUGO! (See intemperate ungodly volume here)

  4. D. Says:

    Darn funny post, though

  5. MH Says:

    The CSUN daily paper had a headline: “CSUN ready to LOOSE 1.8 million dollars” or something like that.

  6. Casey Says:

    I can haz “the 80th anniversary edition of the Oxford English Dictionary”?

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