If YOU'RE Blogging YOUR Ignorance of English

I understand that blogging is not a class in grammar or spelling. Bloggers write and are read because of their ideas and their willingness to state their news and opinions for the whole world to see. I admire bloggers who are willing to have on-line, on-the-record conversations.

Now, for my criticism: I am a bit embarrassed by the use of YOUR to mean You Are. YOUR is not a contraction. It is a possessive pronoun. YOU'RE is a contraction meaning YOU ARE. I cringe when I read YOUR used incorrectly on some of my favorite blogs.

We all (or most of us) make gramatical and spelling mistakes. This happens when we are typing too fast or when we don't proof read or even if we do, it is hard to proof our own wok. I'm not complaining about gettomg diingers on the wrong jeys. Oops, I mean fingers on the wrong keys. I'm not complaining about long, run-on sentences or lots of things we do to try and make our point. But this YOUR and YOU'RE thing really bugs me.

I hope this criticism is taken as constructive, not mean-spirited. And for anybody who cares, I know I make lots of mistakes; but, confusing your with you're is not one of them. I also know the difference between there, their and they're.

For more on this subject try English-Zone.com


Roch101 said...

I'm with you Dianne. My common pitfall is were and where. Although I know the difference, I'll mix them up when typing quickly.

I do wish bloggers would put a little more thought into the grammar and structure of their posts -- things that have to do with ignorance of English more than typing errors or brain farts. There are two good reasons to do so: First, an author can make a post nearly incomprehensible by being sloppy and, second, even if the point gets across, it is going to be measured against the level of your writing. A good point made at a 12th grade writing level is going to be taken more seriously than the same idea expressed at a 5th grade level.

Here are some of my pet peeves:

Me, myself and I:
"As for myself," is wrong. "Mom, dad and myself" is wrong. People are afraid of misusing I or me so they just substitute myself when in doubt and it sounds just as bad when misused.

A four hundred word post composed as a single paragraph is a monstrosity. It is not only physically hard to read, but it indicates that the author doesn't really know how to organize thoughts. If you're not sure when to make a new paragraph, look closely at writers who use paragraphs (almost all of them), notice how a new thought warrants a new paragraph.

Quotation marks:
English uses quotation marks to encapsulate quotations. Not the @ symbol, not ellipses, not parentheses. It is incredibly confusing to a reader to come across a quotation that is not clearly indicated as such and it is also one of those things that marks the author as sloppy.

I have found a great resource for common errors in the English language. It is a quick and clear guide to proper word use. "I, me, myself" is there as well as thousands of other helpful word usage tips.

diane said...

Thanks for the great tip about the website with all those common errors. I will put the link into my favorites.