14 thoughts on “The Most Common Grammar Mistakes”

  1. A generation of texting?
    People addicted to computer spellcheck and speech-to-text software?
    Sloppy work habits ingrained from “everybody passes” schooling.
    Reading the offerings on fanfiction sites is eye opening.

  2. Not sure if it’s a valid result. People might know they are wrong, but plan to go back and proofread, or don’t need to do so since the mistakes will be autocorrected.

    I see four errors frequently that annoy me.

    1) Data used as singular noun: “The data shows that…”

    2) Conditional use of “was”: ” If I was single, I’d chat her up.”

    3) Objective case used in predicate nominative: “That would be me.”

    4) Nominative case used as object of preposition: “She spoke with Roger and I.”

    1. or don’t need to do so since the mistakes will be autocorrected.

      Ya, makes me wonder how they collected the data, as people type or from the finished product. I leave off apostrophes all the time because typing on a phone or tablet means either a long press or switching the keyboard back and forth.

      With data though, while there is a singular form of the word, it reads better breaking the conventions for plural/singular and fits the conventions used with other words, like information. Treating data as a singular is also a bit of shorthand because people are often referring to a specific set of data and just say the data rather than the data set.

      Sometimes we make mistakes because we don’t intuitively apply internalized rules correctly but sometimes our intuition has a better understanding of language than the rules allow for.

        1. Drat!

          But times they are a changing, we can now start a sentence with a conjunction. Maybe the discrimination against prepositions at the end of sentences will be next.

  3. The MS-Word grammar checker reminds me of a made-for-TV movie (see, I hyphenated the compound adjective because of conditioning from MS-Word) from the 1970’s called “Earth 2.” That movie features a similar thing.

    Earth 2 was a space station in Earth orbit that held a colony of politically correct persons whose purpose was not repeating what they regarded as the mistakes of “Earth 1” down below. I remember that Gary Lockwood who earlier portrayed “astronaut Frank Poole” from 2001 was in it.

    Tony Franciosa, who appeared in a lot of TV shows in that era, played a newcomer to Earth 2, one who didn’t “get” much of the political correctness and who wanted to improve everything they were doing. Meanwhile, some rogue nation state launched an orbiting nuclear weapon, and the Earth 2 people in their political rectitude took it upon themselves to disarm it, resulting in serious injury of one of their guys from a protective screen of the rogue-nation atomic warheads.

    Gary Lockwood explained that Earth 2 was governed by a direct democracy (or California ballot propositions). Any resident could bring a concern up for what Lockwood called a “D-and-D” (Discussion and Decision). The residents of the station watched on TV screens, and “logic circuits” would place captions on the video to prevent the station residents from being swayed by a demagogue (like Tony Franciosa). The “logic circuits” were like NPR this afternoon explaining to people that President Trump doesn’t have any evidence that President Obama had been spying on him and in NPR’s opinion, it is high time that Mr. Trump would apologize. For example, when the wife of the guy left brain-damaged from disarming the warheads expressed her opinion, the TV screen was captioned “emotional appeal.”

    So Tony Franciosa decides to put the question to a “D-and-D” of Earth 2 keeping the nuclear warheads they just disarmed, making Earth 2 a nuclear state and contravening all of the political correctness that Earth 2 had been cultivating. Like Supreme Court nominee Judge Gorsuch, his character spent a lot of time practicing so his arguments wouldn’t be undercut by the “logic circuits.”

    I call the grammar checker in MS-Word “the logic circuits”, only no one seems to have seen that movie to know what I am talking about. This is really two bad. Whereas Earth 2 was offered in Hollywood earnestness in depicting their vision of a proper utopian colony where everyone listened to NPR without cringing, I think the movie is an excellent case study in how such utopianism, logic circuits notwithstanding, is rather lame.

  4. The schools my children attend barely teach grammar anymore. I suspect the education-industrial complex has decided to let Microsoft and Google handle grammar. Besides, if you teach proper English, you’ll be offending somebody in the class, and that’s simply not tolerated in our post-sanity world.

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