No, this is not a post about curse words. Goodness knows I’ve got a “potty mouth” more often than a lady should. I try to keep it family friendly on here, and in day to day life as well. But sometimes you just need to let out a good string of inappropriate words to get your frustrations out. It’s cathartic. But again, that’s not what this post is about.
I don’t know about you, but I am so very tired of reading posts on all forms of social media in which people treat basic grammar with reckless abandon. It is particularly maddening when companies make these sort of posts. You may not agree with me, but I tend to look at a company differently when many of their social media posts contain grammatical errors. I’m not out to be the grammar police – if anything the grammar police ought to arrest me. I know I’ve committed many a grammatical crime, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life I am sure.
But I am not talking about honest mistakes. When I notice such mistakes on a blog (twitter, facebook, what-have-you) where I know the person writing does know the difference between the word they used and the word they meant to use, I keep reading and am not too fazed by it. I make lots of mistakes too, so I’m definitely not going to hold it against you.
If, however, I notice that a person consistently misuses simple words, it grates on my nerves something fierce. If I notice it is habit, I don’t make a return visit to that person’s site/page. I can make some exceptions to this, based on a number of things. Some exceptions might be if there is other content that is useful enough to me that the poor grammar can be overlooked, if English is not the first language of the person writing, or if they’re friends/family whom I love and thus they will hear about it from me (in as loving a manner as I can muster up) but I’ll give them more leeway than I’d give others. What? You know you do it do. Nepotism at its finest, you know.
This post is about the people who should know better but don’t make any effort – the ones who should, but don’t have a fucking clue. (See, there’s that potty mouth thing I mentioned earlier.) Some examples of what I am referring to, as well as examples on correct usage should you be among the many who have some learning to do, are below.
Its vs it’s vs its’:
Its is the possessive form of it. As in “The dog played with its frisbee.” or “That camera comes with its own case.”
It’s is a contraction of it is or it has. Examples: It’s cold outside today. It’s been so nice visiting with you.
Its’ does not even exist. Please stop using it, and forget that you ever saw it anywhere.
Here vs hear
Here is a place. Like, “Set that box here, please.” or “Will you be staying here for the duration of your vacation?”
Hear is is a verb meaning “to perceive by the ear”. For example: Did you hear that strange noise?
Where vs wear vs ware
Where describes a place or position. Examples: Where are you going for vacation? Where is the hotel? Where would you like me to place this book?
Wear means “to carry or have on the body or about the person as a covering” such as clothes, accessories etc. Examples: Do you prefer to wear flat shoes or high heels? She intends to wear a pink dress to the dance.
Ware refers to tangible items and goods that are salable. (For those who need further clarification on that – stuff that can be sold.) For example: The wares in that antique shop are lovely.
Sight vs site
Sight, as in, you see it. With your eyes. For example: The fireworks were quite a sight! My sight is not what it used to be when I was younger.
Site is a location. Examples: Can you describe the site for me? We drove past the site of the accident. Site, today, can also refer to an internet page, such as “What is the address of your site?” or “I updated my site last night, check it out and let me know what you think.”
Peek vs Peak
Peek means “to look or glance quickly”. For example: Don’t peek at your Christmas presents. Take a peek at this picture.
Peak refers to the top of a mountain, or the highest level of something. As in “We hiked all the way to the peak of the mountains last weekend.” or “The company’s sales peaked in July when they released a new item.”
Sneak vs. Sneek
Sneak means “to go in a stealthy manner”. Examples: The teenagers tried unsuccessfully to sneak into the movie. Kids like to sneak snacks before supper.
Sneek is not even a fucking word so please for the love of God stop using it.
Then vs Than
Then is most often used as an adverb to situate actions in time. Examples: Brush your teeth, then I will read you a bedtime story. I need to make a phone call, then we can go out. Then can also be used as a noun, meaning “that time” or “at that time”, for example “My then boyfriend was not interested in art.”
Than is usually used in making comparisons between things. Examples: I can make better spaghetti sauce than you. Her hair is curlier than her sister’s. It is warmer here than where I grew up.
Your vs. you’re
Your is the possessive form of you. It means something belonging to you. For example: Don’t forget your coat. Is that your car? Your cat is so friendly.
You’re is a contraction of you are are. Examples: You’re going to regret wearing those heels to this event. Is that where you’re going next week?
There vs their vs they’re
There, like where which I mentioned above, describes a place. Examples: Please leave your shoes there. I didn’t like the climate there. The store you are looking for is right there.
Their is the possessive form of them, and is used to describe something belonging to them. For example: Unfortunately the girls lost their concert tickets. The twins don’t like when their clothes match. The puppies were all happily wagging their tails.
They’re is a contraction of they and are. Examples: They’re getting married next spring. They’re having a good time at the water park. Look at those birds, they’re so colorful!
I could go on and on with this post but I think I’ve made my point.
If you’re ever in doubt, pick up a dictionary. If you don’t own a dictionary, or if you are too lazy to go pick it up, that’s no excuse. There are online dictionaries now. You can check your usage and spelling in just a couple clicks. And don’t tell me you can’t remember a web address for an online dictionary. The simplest one to find is dictionary.com. It doesn’t get much easier than that, folks.
PS – Please do not use urban dictionary as a reference for any of this. Urban dictionary is the wikipedia of grammar. In other words, yes, you might be able to find some accurate information there. But a lot of it is bullshit.