Manual A Good Bullet: Comedy, Violence and All the Terrible Things That Make Us Laugh

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But there are other mistakes that can detract from your credibility. While we all hope what we have to say is more important than some silly grammatical error, the truth is some people will not subscribe or link to your blog if you make dumb mistakes when you write, and buying from you will be out of the question. This is another common mistake. This one seems to trip up everyone occasionally, often as a pure typo.

Make sure to watch for it when you proofread. To this day I have to pause and mentally sort this one out in order to get it right. The dangling participle may be the most egregious of the most common writing mistakes. The problem with both of the above is that the participial phrase that begins the sentence is not intended to modify what follows next in the sentence.

However, readers mentally expect it to work that way, so your opening phrase should always modify what immediately follows. You may find it amusing to know that I, like David Ogilvy , have never learned the formal rules of grammar. If you show me an incorrect sentence, I can fix it, but if I need to know the technical reason why it was wrong in the first place, I go ask my wife.

Click here to learn more about Grammarly, a tool for serious writers. Brian Clark is the founder of Copyblogger, host of Unemployable , and editor of Further. Errors are homophone problems. The conversational nature of blogs and email causes some writers to type what they hear in their heads with less attention to correctness of meaning.

English phonetics can be very difficult for a lot of foreigners because their mother tongue can be made up of less phonemes and allophones than English: they have to learn to identify and say new sounds German, French, Spanish, Japanese, etc. Scandinavian languages are an exception in Europe. Swedish will learn how to speak quite easily, because they use more sounds. On top of that, they use pitch accent, a notable feature not used in other European languages.

But English grammar is very simple, so simple!!! Therefore, reading English is not a big deal for us. Indeed, we may often do not know one word — and we look in a dictionary — or in quite a few cases, just guess according to the context. Even if our grammar is correct, we will also use a weird style, because we tend to think in our native language and translate word for word what I am probably doing in that message. But our semantics is correct, because it is universal in the five example above, it is not!

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Because English phonetics is so difficult and grammar so easy, we tend to use the easiest way for us: reading. My wife and I have been very surprised, when we were living in Toronto, to realize that lots of people did not know the English grammar as well as us! Ironically, however, you make an English grammar error in the final phrase of your entry. I do — but I believe you would like to know the correct form. Ergo: My wife and I had been very surprised when we lived in Toronto.

I am no expert but I think the simple past is better. In any case, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage, commenters are divided on this issue. Analagous perhaps, but hardly synoymous. Anyone using ax for ask makes me cringe. I definitely agree with you on this one. I seem to have noticed this one more frequently too and it bothers me too. My supervisor at work does this often. I cannot help but feel annoyed knowing she is being paid almost twice what I am being paid, yet she cannot properly use these TWO words.

That term seems to manage to pass for real grammar in some circles which shall remain unnamed read: MySpace. The apostrophe and its misuse is one of my biggest pet peeves. Thank you for telling them! It really makes me crazy. And another time, at a summer camp the supervisors had to help kids make posters for their teams for a game week. My second biggest pet peeve? Before forwarding it and I only did THAT because I really like that friend I went through and corrected all the numerous grammar mistakes. It was killing me. And speling. That is, a coherent set of rules need to be learned before slight deviations can still be understood.

For purists, however, they may not enjoy the lack of spelling and grammar skills. This is the best basic intro to grammar I have seen in a long time, and will definitely be recommending this to quite a few bloggers! If they take this to heart, it might not be so painful to read them! Do be cautious. Even here among gramma-philiacs — lexicologists — you may find some errors in usage, structure, or the more subtle art of writing compact, efficient sentences. We all have favorite phrases we are reluctant to abandon, but should, even though these may not be precisely incorrect.

Its just a matter of clarity and parallels or correlations. Brian — 1 drives me crazy as hell as well. Well put Brian. Great post. I have been pulled up for bad grammar by readers in the past, and continue to be pulled up about it. In my mind it is like going to a party and stopping another guest mid-conversation to pull them up on their speech. I would rather have root canal than sit down and learn all these grammar rules, yuk.

In the magazine world I would usually submit the best work I could produce knowing there was a person whos job it is to tidy up these kinds of mistakes. I would agree with Erin, I commit this mistake several times, but luckily Word highlights such erros. The correct use of a colon may be understood as to happen in two somewhat different applications. One is to indicate that an example will follow; the other is to be used for effluent. Oh heck, sorry for the bad pun.

Also, I disagree on the distinction between myself and me. I think it is perfectly acceptable to use me. Given the development of our informal spoken language often translated into the written , we can be a bit less pedantic, and some most correct phrases are simply awkward, not sophisticated.

I learned as you did—through reading my husband is the technical expert in our house. But that was back in a time when you could count on most of what you read as being grammatically correct. Naturally, I have emailed her this post. Spot-on post, Brian. Excellent list! And this happens so often. It always show thru. Believe me, I know!

Since this is a blog about writing, I let myself break the general one-and-two syllable rule occasionally. Brian, I absolutely love grammar posts. There is even a little test you can take over a Newsroom Tangentially—ever notice how broadcast journalists emphasize the preposition in their speech? Investigators are combing the area FOR the cash.

Go ahead, watch your local news. Nice article. As an Arabic guy who start to learn English language in my 7th grade! I have a lot of grammar mistakes! Thank you for this post. Your examples represent a few of the common errors that all types of writers—not just copywriters—make. You can add the misuse of commas to this list; run-on or disjointed sentences due to faulty use of the comma immediately erode my confidence in an author.

This brings me to my point. I disagree with your terminology and logic regarding the word: mistake. Grammatical rules are tools of the writing trade. If one assumes the position of writer in a professional capacity, he is implying to his audience that he knows how to employ such tools. He is implying that he possesses an acceptable command of the English language. It is no different than when you call an electrician to your house; if he tries to cut a wire with a toilet plunger, you will reach for the Yellow Pages again.


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The electrician has demonstrated ignorance of his tools. But ignorance is not what you blogged about today. Such people invariably have had education in this area. When these people write a sentence that is not syntactically correct, or venture onto ground that for them is shaky, they can usually feel it.

We all know our shortcomings. That is when the writer, feeling his uneasiness, must reach for The Elements of Style or The Chicago Manual, or just google. If they did, they would catch many problems, such as omitted words or homonyms spell checker let slip—others for your list. I have an Accounting Degree. I hated English in grade school. I did not read obsessively at a young age. I simply learned the hard way that effective written communication skills are required in the business world, and that the primary obstacle to effective writing is carelessness. It was really helpful.

Now I need to go back and look at my posts to see how many I screwed up. Good job, your really sorting out the loosers who make there mistakes known to ppl all over the web. Thanks for the list, and you might want to tone down 4 a bit. See Common English Erros for this and more …. I learn those little things on my English class. When English is not your native language, I think you are paying more attention when writing than if you were writing in your own language.

I agree with Brian. I got math covered, and she has the English. So between the two of us, we have the homework covered! I text message with the best. Thanks Brian, for a fun article. And for reminding us about something we are all victim to once in a while. Our own haste! Great article. I enjoyed it. Loved the affect vs. I normally try my hardest to use the best possible grammar that I can. I also type my blog posts out in Word prior to the posts going live lol. Was it a case of grammar lapse or of impropriety in the use of words? I assume, it is a case more of lexical deficiency than of grammatical fault.

I think that one makes me the craziest. I learned my grammatical skills and am still learning them from reading as well. Working at a job the last 3 years with proofers really helped to increase my knowledge as well. You should add a part 6 to discuss Lie versus Lay. Besides the ones you point out, there are 2 more that always seem to annoy me when I read them…. I explained the difference. He responded, thanking me for my email. I spent 7 years as a newspaper copy editor, more than 30 years writing for publication and editing various publications, and I still make mistakes.

But I make an effort to correct them when I find them. I discovered this not too long ago too. Now I want to go back years and have my over-zealous university professors grade my papers again. Ha ha ha. According to dictionary. Random House, Inc. As a former journalism major, I rely on the Associated Press Style Manual to get me through a lot of the weird stuff. Affect, as a noun, is best avoided. It occasionally is used in psychology to describe an emotion, but there is no need for it in everyday language. Effect, as a verb, means to cause: He will effect many changes in the company.

Effect, as a noun, means result: The effect was overwhelming. He miscalculated the effect of his actions. It was a law of little effect. My native language is not english but I stumble upon such mistakes with an increasing frequency… it must be a native speaker only problem. Most non-native post and blogs have other types of mistakes. I routinely break this one on purpose, just about in every post. I agree here. There are times when poetic license replaces true form yet is just as legititmate. As long as the clarity of the writing — the integrity of the message — remains, the use of the vernacular and breaking of some rules is quite alright.

Writing is an ART. Real art is achieved not with schoolbook learning, but with regular usage, acceptance of criticism, and ruthless self-edits. Only experience can truly teach. I actively disobey this rule because it is a stupid rule. There is no reason to have both There and Their. The difference is not relevant because the words are not, NEVER were, and never will be defined by spelling. This is easily proven. Try speaking the words improperly.

You can not do it. They are always defined by context. ONE should be selected and the other deleted since context and only context defines them. They are phonetically identical and contextually defined. The difference is spelling is technical and semantic with no logical relevance. You can NOT mis read a sentence because one over the other is used. Thank you. These constantly drive me insane. Hopefully more people will understand how uneducated these common mistakes make them look.

During the recent execution of a notorious Iraqi dictator, a lot of writers seemed to be confused about the difference between hung and hanged. Is there a diffrence in its use. I once worked with a guy who had the task of writing a four line blog post on the company site! The post consisted of four sentences, three of which had exclamation marks! Of course the last sentence had multiple exclamation marks!!! I love the title. This is my hat. Without regard to its strictly grammatical propriety, it can be confusing and is unappealing as a matter of style.

Better alternatives are available. This adjective is also misused for as a substitute for indefinite articles, for the purpose placing greater emphasis on the subject. You need to evaluate the motives of this person who gave the advice. This usage is inappropriate but not as egregious an error as its misusage as a pronoun. Ending a sentence with a preposition may not be a grammatical error, speaking strictly, but good style requires alternatives be found in most cases. The usage of correct grammar and good style is the hallmark of an educated mind and disciplined thought.

As such it should recognized and encouraged. Its absence should serve as a warning to readers and listeners of a concomitant lack of rigor in development of any underlying premise. Bloggers should pay serious attention to grammar and how it negatively effects there message.

Imagine my embarassment when I dicscovered I had cut and pasted a draft into the comments box instead of the final version! I submit the final version belos; please feel free to make humorous comments at my expense! Thanks for the interesting article. As such it should be recognized and encouraged. And I broke the rules again by not reviewing my spelling on the comments added to the final draft.

This here English grammar stuff is harder too figgur then I thawt! Grammar is important to writers because our currency is credibility, which we earn through accuracy. I even capitalize and use proper punctuation which is almost unheard of on MSN Messenger. My ex was bad for that and he used to get really mad when I corrected him all the time. I think everyone has trouble with that word. This problem is two-fold, they often pick the wrong one no matter which they meant to use! The meanings are not the same, and the two words do not sound alike. Truly puzzling. I see these three words used in the wrong context all the time.

I have grown tired of using the apostrophe key at all, so I just avoid conjunctions as much as possible. At times, I find that it can even make sentences more clear. On the other hand, I hate it when other people make apostrophe mistakes. Regardless, great job on the article. That was the right way to do it, right?

The Human mind is an amaizng thing. If can make some of the most intresting corrcetions all by itself without you even knowing it. Gross grammar errors are tacky. They really should be corrected.

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The minor errors though especially spelling errors are quite irrelevant. We all know this even if we refuse to admit it. This irrelevance is why its so hard to proof read your own content. It takes another person with the intent to find errors to find them. This is also why proof reading hard copy is easier than proofreading on screen. You pay more attention to detail when its in hard copy. I will admit I am a bit lax when it comes to grammar. I am am very good at spelling but not very good at typing.

I am fast but sloppy, often tapping the wrong key or having my left hand jump the gun on the right etc.. I tend to type the way I think and it shows in my web pages Note my webpage is about 10 years out of date and it need of a major overhaul. I can go through and correct these errors but I am usually to lazy. I make so many and have so little time that it just gets put in the, when I have time, stack of things to do.

I noticed just how badly I use this type as you think method in my latest project. I am writing or more properly putting together a page Photo Book of Naram The amount of actual text is low in something like this. As I was reviewing it I was astonished at how many errors I made.

I also discovered I tended to overuse words a lot. While this is not an error exactly it is bad taste so I am fixing that too. The only major problem I have is when people nitpick on otherwise irrelevant errors and mistakes. The only person who cares is the one complaining.

If this is a book or a professional paper or work or some kind then fine nitpick away otherwise just let it go. It just does not matter enough to be worth even your time to make the post or reply to complain about it. Did you ever study logic? You MUST assume that your audience will care. Language changes happen over time and many of those referred to will find their way into our dictionaries and will be given the assignation of legitimacy.

In the meantime, I believe we owe it to our readers to assume their intelligence and education, and produce quality writing. Go to a chat room or limit it to your blog. You named all of my grammatical top pet peeves. Then I highly recommend that you take the time to become familiar with this publication.

It was my choice to do so, and above all not because I chose to be lazy. Anyone else getting violent eye-twitches from reading grammatical errors in comments responding to an article about grammatical errors? I thank Mrs. Stokes and seventh grade English for all the grammar I ever learned. Even fifty years later, I cannot hear or read grammatical errors without wincing. Writing well requires a bit more than proper grammar, spelling or choice of words, eg. Since I disagreed, naturally I scouted around the web. Quite an interesting post.

Great job on pointing them out. However, I can remember this rule: possessive pronouns do not have apostrophes. Oh wait, you know what? You know why it exists? Because some scholars who got together to have a pow-wow about English grammar and set down rules decided that they would base those rules on Latin. I find it funny that most of these self-appointed defenders of the English language have absolutely no background in linguistics. Give me a break. It is, however, effective for losing friends or having them talk crap to you behind your back.

Language is always changing and it is the nature of human language to simplify itself i. Great topic and very timely! Ahh… but this is a blog about marketing, not personal journaling. See, it says so right up at the top? Although, I suppose my little tirade to convert grammar-nazis into descriptive grammarians will likely fall on deaf ears. It may just be me, but I find it WAY more interesting to study how language changes than it is to attempt something as futile as language standardization. Did a few individuals commenting on this post forget the name of this blog?

Far be it from me to throw a wet blanket over a few of these soap boxes, but we need to stay on track here. You raise some of the same issues. I am french and I find English so easy, compared to my native tongue. I agree with you that bad spelling is common, and challenges the credibility of the writer. Thanks anyway! Glad to be useful somehow. How horrid that blog writing is in such a lowly state; I hope bloggers eventually take some pride in their craft. These mistakes that you call common are basic grammar that all of us should have learned in grade school.

And we need a universal grammar checker on the Internet. You think thats bad, you should try reading university papers as I do on my site. Yes, if you are serious about writing. I suggest you not be. Lazy and inconsiderate to your readers. And that you should. Complete your thoughts. In your sentences. Especially if you are going to pendantically. Call out others. For their foibles. The only people who really notice these simple things are people who actively look for them. Why does MSN seem more authoritative than joeblog. That said, some of the most valuable stuff I read online is written by bad spellers, and even as a former english major I could care less.

Spellchecking is something everyone should when writing professionally. Here is another really good one I see people misuse all of the time, including myself on some occasions. Use who to refer to persons when used as the subject of a verb or subject complement. Use who when he, she, they, I, or we can be substituted for who. Use whom to refer to persons when used as the object of a verb or object of a preposition, object of an infinitive, or the subject of an infinitive.

If the object of a preposition is the subject of a verb, use the subjective case who or whoever. Use whom when him, her, them, me, or us can be substituted. Use whose to show possession. I hear what you are saying, but I think using plural is a UK-ism and from reading their a lot of professional publications The Economist, for example , I think it is culturally appropriate for them to think of companies, organizations, teams, etc.

I know exactly what you mean. I read maybe books of my own free will not required before I was a teenager. I learned from reading how to write, which meant that when it came time to explain the rules or to follow the finer points of grammar, I occasionally fall short. The truth is, there are only a few places where the details I miss really matter — like legal documents and college papers.

I love to see someone get stuck into one of my pet peeves. Sadly not even reading books these days is a guarantee of exposure to good English. Today I encountered a character who went to the library and poured over the books sounds messy.

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BUT… from a copywriting standpoint, it works great in headlines. So I happily break that rule from time to time. This was an amazingly useful post for the bloggers out there.. I read it yesterday in the RSS but wanted to come and say thanks for sharing it with the world! Someone finnaly addressed this issue! I struggle with each of these. Often, I review my blog posts after I write them and find one or more of these errors. After reading your post, your right on point.

Its amazing how the popularity of blogs has not had a great affect on improved writing. Being an educator I would be happy for this stuff just to stay online. Misuse of reflexive pronouns. It seems to be a favourite phrase among middle-management types also!! Gets my goat, and just confirms to me that the person on the other end of the phone is stupid. Thanks for this. I have trouble with split infinitives. I sometimes think in my mother tongue or other languages and write in English.

When it comes to email though, kids seem to lose their minds. Just because the acronyms are capitalised or capitalized for those in the US , why do they need an apostrophe? No matter where I go on the WWW this topic always breeds a debate with strong opinions on both sides. I prefer to do my best to communicate my ideas in a concise and correct manner.

Reading comprehension? I frequently write about grammar, pronunciation, and other pet peeves related to public speaking. This one is SO annoying to me. It bothers me when people not understanding the correct places to put them either leave out their commas as I have here. Comma Constipation. Comma Diarrhea. Although you are right, affect can be a noun and effect can be a verb.

The reverse is also true. Effect as a verb means to bring about. Uncommon, but nevertheless, not incorrect uses. Kokuou: or whatever your name is — Before you can learn linguistics you have to learn to speak, read and write at least one language. I suggest you go and learn English. Great blog — now bookmarked! Frankly i think many of you should lighten up.


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Having once been both an editor and a copyeditor, I used to be pretty hard-ass about typos. In some cases, there is no justification for terrible grammar and spelling. Typos are different. So give us a break…. What gets me is when some of you grammar freaks believe that you can run around telling others how poor their grammar is and in general insult there intelligence. For some of us grammar is not as important as something that is useful such as mathematics, electronics, physics, etc.

If you get pissed because someone makes common mistakes I do it all the time and I should know better and then accuse them of being stupid, you might want to take a look in the mirror. If you have a cow cause someone keeps using there instead of their then maybe its your problem and not theres. If you really want to bitch about it then take it up with the schools and not try to convert someone to your religion.

Maybe if I would have paid attention more in HS English class I would be better but at this point in my life I rather learn something more important like science. Language will come and go but science is here to stay.

Mathematics is a precise language with clear rules. Its strength is precision. There is only a written form of the Mathematical language, requiring symbols, stability and accuracy. English or any spoken language is a living language with rules that are broken because of subjective differences between people and variant expression. The written form follows different rules entirely to the spoken form. What is interesting is the emotional expectation that we will be accepted or rejected based on our display of knowledge.

If you use an imprecise mathematical formula it will also cause rejection low marks in an exam is one form, getting a large bill from your bank could be another. On the web, writing is generally a mix of spoken word form and formal writing — sometimes it is hard to determine which voice is correct. People feel bad when one gets it wrong. Get over it? I do not think that would be progressive.

It is like saying Mathematicians should get over fractions as who really can be bothered with them…. Copyblogger is not dictating that you follow rules, but advising how to communicate clearly in the written form. Excellent response Nicholas! It does slow us down… we live in such a fast paced world that many of us need things easily read and understood. Fortunately, my lack of math finesse largely goes unnoticed… but communication skills are prized in any field and hard to ignore.

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Thanks for the great article. One of the first things I told every new group of students was that to be good writers they also had to be good readers. You have to read to become fully familiar with the appearance of language on the page as well as with its sound and the mental perceptions of meaning that it creates. This is especially true of English because of the complexities of its orthography and the number of homophones in its vocabulary.

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I am in the process of becoming a teacher and find it disturbing how many students and teachers do not write properly. My biggest concern though, is that I learned the rules through reading, and I have no idea how to actually teach them! I was relieved to read that there are others that never actually learned the rules, but know them instinctually through reading.

You have to understand how this works. Congratulations on what you already know! I cannot converse in any other language so I admire your efforts. If it is important to you then consider getting the two books I referenced in an earlier post; they are very useful and actually an interesting read. They may have some good tips that will stick with you I say this because they have helped me and I was born in the US! Sincerely, V-. Last time I looked, it has been acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition since roughly the end of the 12th Century. The error first appeared, I believe, in a s MacMillan grammar book and was then passed along by countless teachers with more Education courses than English under their belt.

Never underestimate the power of a really nasty error. But then, whom can you appeal to? Oops, another darn prepositional ending. Another that gets me is correct spellings from two different countries, by the same author, in the same article, story, etc. Yes Donna, they can.. But only if you use them correctly, which many people do not. One of my disappointments in the internet age is the loss of attention to detail in communications. It just takes effort. The humble writer who respects his readers will proofread.

Although proofreading is not a panacea for ignorance, it will catch most errors. The one who does not proofread is either lazy as hell, or an arrogant jackass who shrugs off the admonishments of those who know better. The one looking for mistakes in this post is the biggest jackass of all, because he is missing the point, and frittering away his own precious time in the vain hope of finding something about which to gloat.

On the other hand, we have those who choose to criticize the spelling- and grammar-challenged while failing to proofread their own comments or are comments exempt from all the blog-language-preaching above? Can you pick it out? Did it affect your understanding of the comment? On a constructive note, this is the lesson for everyone: Even the best copywriters should have someone proofread their work, because a second set of eyes can catch what our brain has chosen to ignore. When we criticize others we should always remember a certain biblical quote about casting stones ….

This was a very nice refresher to keep us on our toes. Unfortunately, word editors do not catch many of these types of grammatical errors. But reinforcement from good articles like this one can always help. Based on the comments, I think many of us will still get affect vs. No further discussion is needed. I am from the UK and have lived in the USA, which made me acutely aware of the cultural differences you mention.

A few minutes ago I tried an American grammar test which gave me a score of 35 out of 50 questions. Had this same test been conducted by UK rules, the result would have been closer to Consequently, I try to adhere to rules common to both sides of the Atlantic, these days, to make communication an easier process and to keep the pedants quiet. The preposition business is a daily thorn to me! I grew up with all the traditional grammatical rigour that says that a sentence should not end in a preposition. Your vs. Not just blogger, but I have witnessed professional writers doing the same. When you lose weight, your pants get loose.

This one really gets me. I thought I was going to pass this with flying colors until I got to number 5! I got my knoweldge of grammar by reading voraciously. I also learnt by reading veraciously. All of these are good points. I think the most important thing is to take enough pride in our work to compel us to read and re-read our blog entries before we post them. What amazes me is the fact that so many of the comments praising this post contain grammatical and spelling errors.

How can people claim to be in such agreement regarding the value of proofreading and then not do it themselves? Like you and many others, I did not major in English, Literature ao the like. I did do a double major in Psychology and Philosophy, however, and had to do a boat load of writing for both.

I was also one who did a lot reading as a child, especially sea tales about pirates and those who went up against them. As a kid who was very much into sports, I also read about the great atheletes at those and earlier times. Throw into this mix my mother, who did attend nursing school and all the reading and course work that with with that, and the constant corrections she hammered into my two sisters and myself this last use of me, myself is from her…be respectful to others, put them first, then include yourself, which is the English sibling of myself.

The point to all of this is that I whole-heartedly agree that the thought that we do absorb all these rules of grammar it is AR, not ER either by osmosis or whatever one chooses to call it. Like many others who commented, I loose interest in a heartbeat in anothers writings if they exhibit a plethora of egregious erors in the written word.

A mistake here or there is one thing, but to see them served up as often as they are is laziness, be it the proofreading that should accompany any copy writing, spell-checker, dictionaries, etc. None of mentioned mistakes could have ever been made by a foreigner. The reason is that our understanding of English is based on the grammar and vocabulary, not everydays oral communication and perception.

Thus we learn how to write well at the cost of the ability to react quickly and correctly to a spoken word. I just visited your blog for the first time today. I love this post!!! These things drive me crazy as well. Well, I am with them and proud of it!!! Did anybody graduate third grade in the U.

The post 79 which you cite is plainly and simply wrong; and incoherent. Hi from Minneapolis, Minnesota, U. Neither of us had ever heard the other pronunciation before! Last thing. I like what wrote and I totally agree. Any suggestions? Just to make things even more confusing and hopefully I am not repeating what someone else may have posted , Affect is also a verb and a noun.

My suggestion for learning the vagaries of English grammar: teach it as a second language. In truth, I think you are even wrong when you say that it is a relative pronoun! And Fowler, as we know, is incapable of being wrong. Would need to recheck this article when I would need to write. Affect vs. The easiest way I distinguish between these two words in my writing is the following thought:. I was shocked. A very useful post for bloggers. I did considering to write my blog in English and the mistakes you mention are very common for me.

Loose and lose bothers me and I seem to be seeing it a lot lately. Thanks for a great post! I, too, am peeved by incorrect apostrophe usage on business signs. My peeve is the confusion between advice and advise. People often use the s word as a noun. And, I know that I make mistakes. I have been gently guided to look at my comma usage.

So much so that when happily perusing the Illustrated Elements of Style, I skipped past the comma section, thinking I had it covered. Alas, I busted myself and went back. Thanks for keeping us on our toes! FYI, we have a free service called Virtual Editor www.

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Typically you receive the report in a few minutes. Check it out and let us know what you think. What is the reason for whichever is the answer. I usually have to look up the difference between verbs, adjectives, nouns, adverbs, etc. Amazingly enough, after years of writing, I AM starting to learn, bit by bit. I also still struggle with the USA and Australian versions of grammar or spelling. Eye halve a spelling chequer It came with my pea sea It plainly marques four my revue Miss steaks eye kin knot sea. Eye strike a key and type a word And weight four it two say Weather eye am wrong oar write It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid It nose bee fore two long And eye can put the error rite Its rare lea ever wrong. Eye have run this poem threw it I am shore your pleased two no Its letter perfect awl the weigh My chequer tolled me sew. Hummmmmm Glad I never had to learn it! Check this out! Thank for your outstanding contribution. But I would like you to notice that you have made a few mistakes in you conclusion above.

Looking foward to linking to most of your posts. Thank once again! You forgot the most common mistake. Thank you so much for posting this. It has driven me nuts for years seeing this mistake nearly everywhere everyday. Robert, please! I heartily agree with almost everything here. Very insightful post! I recently held a conversation on writing quirks little mistakes that you find yourself making time and time again and Mark from Pro-Blogging Matrix directed me to this post.

I always have to double check myself. Its never become integrated into my way of writing. Receive vs Recieve. Good tips. I will now keep these in mind when writing. Can you give some feedback on this? English is not my native language making it even harder to notice those mistakes. It is good to see someone concerned about proper writing. Yup little things. But Important. Should take care of these otherwise really we will be looking dumb. Brian — its to bad your married, cuz myself is looking four some1 whose as in to grammer and speling like myself!!!

I think you missed one. Good article. What all of these people who responded are saying is of value for me, and hopefully for many others. Perhaps the greatest problem I have is ending a sentence with a preposition. Thanks for all of the good tips! Yes, prepositions are terrible things to end sentences with.

Very interesting conversation on grammar. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Bullets are violent. Jokes are violent. Can either be used for good? A good bullet will make next to no effort to answer the last question because it's too hard.

But it will have a crack at asking why and how jokes commit violence. Why and how sex, war, history, death, insecurity Bullets are violent. Why and how sex, war, history, death, insecurity, hatred and loss - all the good stuff - make people laugh. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about A Good Bullet , please sign up. Lists with This Book.

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