"...for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (from Matthew 12:34)
I know many of my readers believe I should be exclusively posting about spiritual, Biblical, and pastoral issues and become disappointed when I write a totally secular piece. Well, if that's where you're coming from, you may be disappointed in this one. This is a "grammar police" positing. Now, my son Jon is truly an English grammar and spelling expert. Seriously, he should probably be working as some sort of editor at a Boston publishing house. Now, I'm no Jon Baril, but I do know enough about English grammar and spelling that I wince at certain common writing errors. Incidentally, I think instant messaging and texting has made this far worse, and its one of many reasons that I absolutely refuse to send or to read any text messages ever! Now, to what's really bugging me:
I have received so many written communications from nice and reasonably bright people who will write things such as:
"I would of attended if I had the time.", or "I know I should of called you first.", or "You could of opted out of the dinner, it was an optional event.".
Listen, what do "would of", "could of", "should of" mean?! In fact, it's supposed to be "would have", "could have", and "should have". Another similar phrase is "must have" often written as "must of". (Remember the song lyric, "It must've been love, but it's over now"?) Now, notice I wrote that as "must've". "Must've", "Could've", "Would've", and "Should've" are what people are trying to communicate when they write, "would of", "could of", "should of". "Could've" and the others are conjunctions. Now, I suspect my son will write me that "would've", and "could've", and "should've" are not even correct. They're sort of unofficial, improper conjunctions. They are not found in most dictionaries. That's true, but I will admit I'm willing to give a pass to "would've, could've, should've" because at least they are using the concept of the word "have". "Of"??? That word no more belongs when you're trying to say "would have, could have, should have" than the word "Baril" does!
Another thing that drives me crazy is when "suppose" is used instead of "supposed". The primary example is: "It's suppose to snow". Really? There's no such English usage!! "It's suppose to snow" is absolutely incorrect! The correct phrase is, "It's supposed to snow!" Did you catch that? The word is "supposed"!
Finally, I am amazed at how mahy people do not understand the proper usages of "two, too, to", or of "they're, their, there". The number 2 is spelled "two". The word "too" means "also".
"I think I know how to use proper grammar, too!" for example.
Now when it's not the number 2 you're writing about and it's not "also" you're trying to say, then the spelling of to is "to"!!
As far as "there", see if this makes sense:
"They're going over there to get their shoes". Each is spelled correctly for the proper usage.
Finally, how do you spell "You're welcome"? It's not "your welcome". I honestly believe 90% of American adults do not know how to spell "you're welcome"!
Now, if you think I'm being harsh and if my criticisms of your grammar has stung, don't worry! My son will probably send me an e-mail explaining that I had a couple of incorrect usages of grammar in this piece!
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