Jul 26, 2011 at 7:41 am #1277211
Wish I could "have" been there. Not "of" been there.
You should "have" seen…..not "of" seen.
I could "have" done that. I could not "of" done that!
Could/ would/ should "of"….makes no sense.
Tha abbreviation we hear when we speak is 've, for "have", not "of".
Obviously just about everybody knows this, but I see it here daily and it just bugs me. I wish someone else would of said something… : )Jul 26, 2011 at 7:56 am #1763111
Also on my list:
Could care less
There/Their/They'reJul 26, 2011 at 8:43 am #1763127
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Or like most people obsessed with the English language….learn to breathe in deeply and let it go. It will make you less stressed.
Seriously, if others don't have perfect English does it really affect you? Only if it lets you. So they don't have a mastering of it, it doesn't affect who they are.
And not everyone knows the rules you list or even the difference between similar sounding words. To say they should well…it is a bit condescending and smacks of elitism.
I have friends and hiking partners who have horrid spelling. Does that make them any less enjoyable to be with? Not at all. Frankly without spell check I am lost.
Sorry, but you remind me of the kids in elementary who made fun of me because I couldn't wrap around "S" correctly and had to take speech therapy. To this day I still have issues with certain words. The nice thing about being an adult and being "corrected" by idiots is I can tell them where to take their "corrections". And trust me – I have no issue telling them to shut it.Jul 26, 2011 at 8:48 am #1763130
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
My mom complains when I say I'm eating a "healthy" apple
She says "it's healthful, not healthy"
Since she repeats the same things over and over, I now say "if it's healthy, then it's also healthful"Jul 26, 2011 at 8:50 am #1763131
@clbowdenLocale: Berkeley Hills
cement vs. concrete (I'm an engineer)Jul 26, 2011 at 8:57 am #1763133
@aaronmbLocale: Central Valley California
As an English graduate student all these things get to me. After reading tons of student papers, though, one learns to let it go–just a little–otherwise insanity is just around the corner.
with all things considered what actually gets to me the most is having to break down peoples posts by imagining where periods commas question marks and capital letters and all those things should go when people dont use them leaving it up to us figure it all out can be especially challenging when they begin rambling and jumping from thought to thought its nice to have those markers you know i mean we have them for a reason
Most of these things occur in those who actually don't know, many times, these are Second Language Learners* who learn audibly – so the "'ve" sound versus "of" is indistinguishable. The bottom line while they learn, of course, is – is it comprehensible?
EDIT: this is too vague and unfair a term to simply say and not qualify. This is, in my experience, specifically with entry level freshman students, in the CSU system, that can be called Generation 1.5 learners; many have incomplete educations in their L1 and L2 (as suggested below).Jul 26, 2011 at 9:00 am #1763135
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
Theory vs idea or guess (I'm a scientist)…Jul 26, 2011 at 9:04 am #1763139
I am a learner, constantly trying to improve myself. I teach languages. Speech impediments are one thing; spelling is another and sentence construction is yet another. Pointing out that a sentence construction makes no sense is not a crime either. Name calling, on the other hand, is rude.
Edited for punctuation, my weakness; )Jul 26, 2011 at 9:12 am #1763142
@philipdLocale: Ontario, Canada
Looks around…and googles "cement vs concrete".
Ahh… 8-)Jul 26, 2011 at 9:18 am #1763144
Aaron, I disagree with your opinion that second language learners have more difficulty with this. As a learner of English myself, I had to learn the grammar and I read most words before I ever spoke or heard them. That is why most learners of English are good spellers. Now , there are probably many learners that are illiterate in their native language, who have learned the way you describe , and that is another subject .Jul 26, 2011 at 10:00 am #1763159
@nerdboy52Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Right on, Kat. I've been teaching English composition (i.e., writing) on the college level since 1974. On the whole, non-native speakers of English tend to do better because they come with the "rules" of grammar, usage, and composition already in place.
However, please note that no clear set of standards exist except in the context of actual use. Thus, I will not complain about the lack of apostrophes, comma splices, run-ons, etc. in some of the posts above because the standards, such as they are, are different in this context than they would be in, say, an article written for formal publication in an academic journal.
Beyond that, any serious student of the language will tell you that it changes. People in my field are mostly "descriptive" rather than "proscriptive" grammarians. As one of my own teachers once commented, "God did not lower the rules of English grammar down from heaven on a string."
For example, the apostrophe is slowly disappearing from the language. It is being replaced by the so-called "genitive by juxtaposition." These days, no self-respecting steak-house owner would call his place Smith's Steakhouse." It's the Smith Steakhouse. And come to think of it, when did steakhouse become one word instead of two? In fact, I'll bet you all a nickel that "would of" will be an acceptable replacement for "would have" in 50 years or so just as 'have not got" became an acceptable replacement in informal speech for "have not gotten" in England a few decades back.
Language changes, and be glad it has. English nouns used to have declinations just like Latin ones. How would you like to have to add endings to all your nouns depending on their grammatical position in a sentence? I'm perfectly happy with saying "you" in most cases except the possessive instead of having to figure out all the permutations of "thee, thine, and thou." I just wish the culture at large would accept the southern use of "ya'll." English needs a second-person plural form of the pronoun.
When I fall down while hiking, I cuss. I do not curse or swear or use foul language. I cuss, dag nabbit. And don't ya'll fergit it. :-)
StargazerJul 26, 2011 at 10:11 am #1763164
I hear where you are coming from Thomas. Of all the linguistics classes I took, my favorite remains a Syntax class, in which we had no books and were required to write a formula of the English language as we use it. A formula that included the sentence structures that we use, and excluded those that we don't use. And by "we", I mean each student, each speaker. It was a wonderful exercise with many valid formulas as a result. Many included the use of double negatives, since natural language always reverts back to them, if not manipulated. That said, my above mentioned example is fairly basic and meant no offense. If I read a post that addresses a mistake I make, and no finger was directly pointed at me, I would welcome it. As I wrote, I am a learner.Jul 26, 2011 at 10:23 am #1763169
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
RON Bell vs. Rob Bell
GG (Gossamer Gear) vs. GG (Granite Gear)….*there needs to be a delineation!
Cuben vs. Cuban
( I'm a backpacker) ;-)Jul 26, 2011 at 11:53 am #1763206
While my grammar, punctuation, and spelling are not always perfect, there are a few specific ones that are on my pet peeves list.
Most often I see incorrect usage of the words to, two, and too. As far as spelling is concerned, one that I often see being incorrect in cookbooks is "bouillon" which mistakenly gets spelled "bullion". I once mentioned it to someone and the inane reply was that my correct spelling of the word was "the Canadian spelling" and that "bullion" was the correct American usage for the word meaning "broth". I think having bullion in my soup would be rather hard to swallow, however, it might pad the bank account.
I concede that the quality of my writing doesn't come without the assistance of my wonderful editors at Wilderness Press, a good amount of proofreading, and great tools such as the Chicago Manual of Style. The latter should be on every writer's bookshelf.
(edits: like Kat_P, I had to fix a few things and I'm a little bit addicted to editing)Jul 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm #1763214
Philip wrote: Looks around…and googles "cement vs concrete". Ahh… 8-)
Thank goodness I wasn't the only one who did not know there was a difference. :)Jul 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm #1763220
Dug vs Doug
(I'm a narcissist)Jul 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm #1763226
One of the all-time great grammar and style guides. There is a distinct American usage of the English language.
But I go too far here, since there are plenty of international folks on BPL who don't give a darn about specific American usage. :-)Jul 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm #1763228
Douglas wrote: Dug vs Doug (I'm a narcissist)
I always think of you as Douglas.Jul 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm #1763231
@nerdboy52Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
The "bouillon" vs. "bullion" example illustrates exactly when, as a culture, we must sometimes insist on correctness instead of cutting a writer a little slack. They are words with distinct and different meanings, and their misuse produces reader confusion (bad) or reader hilarity (worse). How many times have I had fellow or sister writing teacher stop by my office and say, "Get a load of this one."
The "would have"/ "would of" situation is different. The "would of" writer is simply allowing informal speech to enter the more formal realm of writing. Given the less-than-formal context of forums such as this one, I think we should be willing to cut the writer a little slack.
But that, of course, is just my individual perception. If a majority of readers find some error causes them to discount the opinions expressed in a piece of writing, the writer would do well to learn the correct form. Correctness is really just a matter of perception and, more importantly, persuasion.
StargazerJul 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm #1763233
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
You mean I could "of" firmly cemented in my mind concrete definitions of the two?Jul 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm #1763236
"I always think of you as Douglas."
As long as you're thinking of me, that's the key……. ;-)Jul 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm #1763253
inability to communicate effectively does adversely affect everyone. misunderstandings can lead to death…. if you think about it. bring on the grammar police.Jul 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm #1763271
Descriptive linguistics or prescriptive linguistics?
Very different beasts! (speaking as a professional linguist!)Jul 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm #1763277
As far as what I said, I believe the class I so enjoyed was descriptive, as we were asked to formulate the syntax we actually use, and not the " correct" syntax.
As far as my original post, I believe that when people write "could of" they are not writing casually using spoken language, but rather they don't know that when they speak they are using the contracted form of "have".
Please tell us more, though.Jul 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm #1763279
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
"Jury rig" vs "Jerry rig"
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.