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Having a Grammar Moment
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Am I the only person in the known universe who knows when to use "its" and when to use "it's"? It's not a difficult concept, easy to check if the spelling and punctuation are written correct ly (unlike other vagaries of spelling which are far harder to self-check).

And while I'm ranting, how about using "lie" and "lay" correctly? I realize they are far harder to master, but people who write for a living and publish their work really need to learn which to use when--or find a friendly beta reader who will fix them. One of the worst offenders is my niece--and she's a teacher!!

I won't even go into commas, which seem to be most writers' bete noire. I saw a tee shirt the other day which said

Let's eat Grandma
Let's eat, Grandma
Commas save lives.

Sure, it's funny, but it makes the point that commas can add critical meaning to a sentence, as well as indicating when a reader should pause briefly, as our English teacher told us.

Then there are all the homonyms--
too, to, two
there, they're, their

Not to mention the dreaded object of a preposition such as "Give the book to Jim and I," which provokes much gnashing of teeth in the Rhubarb household and a conscious effort not to correct the speaker.

The reason I find the errors of spelling and grammar so annoying is that, to me, they interrupt the flow of what I'm reading or the conversation I'm hearing, as my brain has to process the weirdness. I suppose to people who are used to "Jim and I" or "Go lay in the sun to get a tan" there is no hitch in the understanding.

However, to those of us who grew up reading and speaking and hearing English done correctly, these usages are beyond annoying. I believe small, unnoticed errors can be ignored, but egregious errors sabotage the message of the writer/speaker.

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