Post # 1
I’m usually so good at not pointing out grammar mistakes that make me cringe (and I’m a typo queen myself so those don’t even bother me), but I just saw the following mistake twice by two different bees within the space of 5 minutes
“All of the sudden, …” (The correct phrase is “all of a sudden”).
These scenarios are always tricky because:
- It feels like someone just clanged their hands down on a piano and made a loud, discordant sound.
- It’s very difficult to point out to the person tactfully.
- The person has no idea that they have just “clanged the piano” (they didn’t hear it at all) and will obliviously do so again and again until they realize it, and others may also learn passively to “clang” in this way, thinking it is a chord.
- Not every grammar/spelling/pronounciation error causes a similarly loud mental “clanging,” but when it is pointed out to those that “clang” loudly accidentally, they will usually assume the other person is a perfectionist and/or just picking on them.
This whole thing is weird. The music metaphor doesn’t exactly work, because you don’t have to have a trained ear to tell when you’ve really made a loud and discordant “clang,” but language must be learned. Children or English-learners will happily tell you that they “hanged up the phone,” and it sounds beautiful and fluid to them. We can all understand why. In a similar way, “all of the sudden” would sound beautiful and fluid to the speaker who doesn’t know that the phrase is “all of a sudden.” It’s easy to imagine myself in that position. So WHY did seeing it twice in a short span “clang” my brain (a brain of a person who makes PLENTY of writing mistakes, and doesn’t expect perfect writing from anyone on here) so loudly that it prompted me to write this topic? I don’t think it’s just me, either.
Why does language DO that to our brains?
Post # 3
I cringe when people say “I could care less about…
That means you COULD care less, as in you do care.
The correct term is “I couldn’t care less.”
That’s my “clang.”
Post # 4
I know what you mean!
I just wonder why it feels so awful to “hear” though (especially if it happens several times in a row). It seems like honest grammar mistakes shouldn’t be as unpleasant for the “listener” as banging one’s hands down on the piano, but somehow they are.
I guess maybe this is a question for the linguistics specialists or something.
Post # 5
because APOSTROPHES NEVER MAKE THINGS PLURAL!
I have a lot of grammatical “clangs” 🙂
They + are = they’re (their is posessive, there is a location)
You + are = you’re (your is posessive)
could/would/should HAVE (not ‘of’)
ALOT doesn’t exist, it’s A (space) LOT. We don’t say ‘alittle’ do we?
Post # 6
Post # 7
@joya_aspera: I’m with you on this one. I feel the same way, and yes, I frequently have typos myself, and lately when you go to edit your post, it messes up formatting so I’ve just been leaving it these days 😛
The big one that bugs me these days is “should of” or “could of”. CRINGE. Seriously people? Does that even make sense to you?!
Post # 8
@joya_aspera: Well, irregardless of your personal mistakes that you make, I think some people just speak/type based on what they hear most often. Supposively, anyways, people don’t realize they’re saying anything wrong.
Post # 9
Maybe because we’ve been taught what’s “right” and so when we hear/see things that are incorrect, it’s jarring…but I don’t think that adequately explains the “clang”.
My fiance is going on and on about beer right now. OMG.
Post # 12
Another thing that drives me nuts is when people don’t properly construct a sentence and when I read a run on sentence I can’t help but start going faster and faster in an attempt to reach a rest point where I can take a breath which really doesn’t make sense since I’m reading this and not saying it but nonetheless I end up missing the whole point of their paragraph which I would have easily understood if a couple of pauses and breaks could have been inputted to break up all their text.
Post # 13
Of cuorse Im obvioussly prefect in evry way nad never nede to eidt a posts after possting
Post # 14
I got to the part of reading faster and faster and just about died laughing because that is me exactly.
This always makes me smile.
Their/They’re/There and “alot” are my two major clangs. I’m certainly not perfect but !$*&!! It’s not rocket science!
Post # 15
Found a blog post that talks about the difference between “all of a sudden/the sudden”:
Seems that it’s mainly a dialect difference. “All of a sudden” is much more widely preferred (and thus sounds “right” and the other one sounds wrong to more people).
Really, though, since it’s an idiomatic expression anyway, it’s hard to say it’s more proper than the other. “Sudden” is no longer used as a noun in modern English – we never talk about “a sudden” in any other context except in this expression, right? So if we’re going to nitpick grammar, the best option is to lose the idiom and go with “suddenly.”
Anyhow … my pet peeve is when people use “reticent” for “unwilling or hesitant to do something” when they ought to use “reluctant.” “Reticent” comes from tacere, to be silent, the same Latin root that gives us words like “tacit” and “taciturn,” and it properly means “reserved, unwilling to speak.” Over the past couple of decades, though, there’s been a widespread tendency to conflate “reluctant + hesitant,” which are synonyms, and people come out with “reticent” even if it’s reluctance to DO rather than SAY something. Ugh. We already have two perfectly good words for that – why weaken the precision of English by blunting the meaning of a third?
Post # 16
Oooh I have another one! It drives me bananas when people leave the “d” off of the end of certain words!!! I.e. “I’m a license driver!” Oh yeah? Where do you drive the licenses?