I just read an e-mail from E-zine Articles training on ten usage mistakes.
I’m not naming names, but I see many of these everyday in my status update feeds, and it absolutely drives me insane. I see them constantly in comments to my other blogs, especially the fast food management one.
Here are the ten items:
There is a pronoun, as in “over there!” Their is possessive, as in “That yellow bungalow is their house.” And they’re is a contraction meaning “they are.”
This gets messed up quite a bit.
A lot means a great quantity. It’s informal and I try to avoid it, because around third grade our teachers agreed they would no longer accept it as a description of a great and many items. So I like to replace it with “much” or “myriad” or something overly dramatic like “overflowing with” or “vast quantities of.”
Allot means to distribute or pass out. As in, “The Holy Spirit allots spiritual gifts to believers as he sees fit.” Whether believers use those gifts is another story (and belongs on my other blog).
And alot is not a word, so knock it off!!!
I see these used interchangeably, and they are so not interchangeable.
I.e. is providing a description. Use it when you mean “that is” or “in other words.”
E.g. means an instance of the generality is coming. I.e., it means “for example.” “You should try reading some Christian apologists, e.g. William Lane Craig or James White.”
Misuse of these probably annoys me the most.
To denotes a range or an infinitive (the pure form of a verb). “We’ll be up from dusk to dawn.”
Two is the number 2. “I have two boxen of doughnuts.”
Too indicates excess or means “in addition to.” “I have brown hair, too!”
Most people use “its” exclusively. Nope! It’s is a contraction for “it is.” Its is the possessive of “it.”
More common on Facebook than the color blue. I’ll let Dr. Ross Gellar explain it succinctly:
This is another seriously common mistake.
Loose is the opposite of “tight.” Lose is what the Lions normally do when they play football. (Though I’m crossing my fingers because it’s been darn good so far this season!)
Seen this more than once. Both of these indicate the making of a selection or a choice. But choose is present tense and chose is past tense.
Few people get the difference here. Both indicate influence or change. Effect is the noun, and affect is the verb. “Using violins in your music composition produce a romantic effect.” “Her decision to break it off affected him worse than we thought.”
Confusing these isn’t usually a matter of ignorance, as most of the above are. It’s normally just a typo.
Know is a verb indicating obtaining or having knowledge. “Search your feelings, you know it to be true.”
No is a negative reply, used nearly exclusively by my son to answer close-ended questions. Even when “yes” would be the obvious answer.
Now indicates a present event. As in, “Now you know the proper way to use these words. So let’s see some improvement in those statuses!!”