However, the last few days I've seen a number of things (primarily on Facebook) which prompted this post. And, yes! I AM going there; back to my teacher mode. So if you are not in the mood for a spelling/word usage lesson, feel free to ignore this post! I will totally understand. HEY! You with the misplaced modifiers - GET YOUR BUTT BACK OVER HERE! YOU NEED THIS!
What began my eye rolling yesterday was a young man on Facebook (an inlaw to one of my grandchildren) who kept calling dogs 'retarted.' I took it upon myself to
The NEXT faux pas I happened upon was one I see quite a bit. Definately. Sigh. Let's go to its base word: DEFINE. Do YOU see an 'A'? No? Good. Neither do I. All that's needed is the suffix 'ly' on the base word to spell it as it was intended to be spelled: Definitely!
Likewise, the word whose definition means 'to divide' is often misspelled this way: seperate. Here's a trick. There is a RAT in the word. Oh, yes! Sep(arat)e. See that little critter? Now you'll NEVER misspell it, will you?
Another common error involves a homonym or word SOUNDING like another word but having a different meaning: WEATHER. Personally, I do NOT consider weather and 'whether' to BE homonyms, but for whatever the reason, they seem to be considered linked in that way. We all know that WEATHER is the atmosphere's condition. WHETHER is a word connoting alternatives. They cannot be interchanged. NOR can my final example - than - be interchanged with THEN. I often read things such as, "I knew better then to go to that store." Sigh. THEN is an adverb describing something time-related. "We went to the movie then to dinner." THAN is a conjunction linking two comparatives. "She is a better speller THAN I am."
Do I sound nitpicky? Good! I am! I studied to be a Grammarian. Truly! No, there IS no such position these days. There hasn't BEEN such a position for YEARS. But there USED to be. And I wanted to BE one. I love words. I handle them carefully because they have as much power as an explosive and as much tenderness as a child's kiss. And in this day of easily accessible spell-check and online thesaurus availability, I am compelled to get out my ruler and ask for the offending hands of those who don't USE them!
Okay! With that said, the Grammar Police is off duty!
NOTE: When I first posted this, I intentionally left three spelling and grammar errors within the post. Either NO ONE recognized them - sigh - or no one had the nerve to correct me. So I went ahead and fixed them. C'mon, now! Although those 3 errors were planted to see what people would say, I DO make ACTUAL careless errors now and then when I'm hurrying. So to those of you who saw them and kept quiet, you would have done me a favor to correct me! In the event that I DO screw up, I beg to be corrected! When your OUTSIDE looks as bad as mine does, you DEFINITELY do NOT want to look as though your brain is ugly, round, and useless too! Okay. Now go read your dictionaries. 'Bye!