I don't get a huge amount of feedback on my website articles, but one thing that is guaranteed to get me an email is if I accidentally leave out an apostrophe in the word it’s when short for "it is". For some reason, this simple typo (that I do know the correct usage for) gets a lot of people’s goats. And it’s a simple one to miss when checking spelling, as most spell-checkers won’t see it as an error because its is a word. But if you make that mistake continually, many people will just give up on your site and go read someone else’s.
What other spelling and grammar errors do you see on web pages that annoy you? Share your pet peeves and learn what errors to look for when correcting your web content.What annoys you?
StyleWriter 4 trial
- Good writing is important. But the only help until now has been tools such as Microsoft Word's grammar and spell-checker. Many writers now use StyleWriter 4 - free trial download at www.editorsoftware.com - to write in the clearest, journalistic English and to pick up mistakes Word misses. The program always improves the style, clarity and readability of any website or document. With a free 14-day download, you can edit any text without even buying the program. It will pick up nearly all the errors reported in this article as well as helping you write clearly and concisely. Nick
Me and my friend !!!!!
- This should be "My friend and I" . This error is perpetuated by the press and TV newsreaders. Maybe I should just suck it and and succomb.
- —Guest LawBea
Bad grammar trends
- For example: using "less" when "fewer" is correct. It is epidemic and I blame the advertisers. This is a fourth grade English lesson! Less fat, less calories. (Fewer calories!) More movies, less commercials. (Fewer commercials.) I could go on...
- —Guest Cyd
- He are a boy. I know her. This am a big issue between he and me.
- —Guest tkdas
's for a simple plural word
- Aggravating to me is seeing the above, e.g. RN's - it's just a simple plural word, not possessive, the apostrophe is not needed there. I see errors of all kinds on websites! Another misspelling is with complement and compliment - very different meanings for these.
- —Guest pearlie
Me too, on to and too!!
- It drives me crazy that people misuse to and too. It is the most common error I find.
- —Guest Elisa
Principal vs. principle
- Believe it or not, I got into an telephone argument with a person at Stanford University over a letter I received from them identifying the woman heading a research project as the "principle investigator." I carefully explained that the correct title is "principal investigator" because the person is the chief or head of the group, similar to an elementary principal at a school. After arguing for at least 10 minutes and getting nowhere, I gave up. Everybody should know that principle can never be an adjective, and it refers to a fundamental law or code of conduct. The word principal can be an adjective or noun, and it refers to chief or main. Principle and principal have no meanings in common: they just sound the same.
- I, too, got benefit from reading your clarification of i.e. vs e.g. Thanks!
- —Guest Jan
Lay or Lie
- I'm a stickler for grammar, and the most irritating error of all for me is the Lay or Lie confusion. People say "I'm going to go lay down". Actually, they are going to LIE down. This is a hard rule to learn because the past tense of one verb, to lie, is the same as the present tense of the other, to lay. My advice is: just make a little grid of the present, the simple past, and the past participle for each and memorize it. English teachers will love you for it!
- —Guest Olivia_Breadhouse
Too vs. to
- Confusing the words "TOO" and "TO". This is a very common error.
- —Guest Gersheps
- People, if you're going to overuse this poor adverb, DEFINITELY learn to spell it correctly. From Jennifer: I nearly corrected the spelling in the title! ;-)
- —Guest Cynth
- I have a couple of friends who write "loose" when it should be "lose" and it drives me crazy! I think I will send them a link to this article. :) A little trick I use to figure out whether to use i.e. or e.g. is to think of i.e. as "in-depth explanation" and e.g. as "examples given."
- —Guest Peggy
To or Too
- Fortunately people don't often confuse "two" here. But please remember "too" denotes the extreme...too many, too little, too happy.Never to many, to little or to happy. Or how about the writes, rites, rights and even the wrights. To write is to put pen to paper. A rite is a ceremony. Rights are privileges. And wrights are craftsmen. You already covered my other crotchets, specifically your and you're and its and it's. They're little things but darn it, they do make a difference.
- —Guest JoelinPDX
- I get so annoyed when web writers use text talk! no1 shud make deir readers strugle thro a hole page o dis! it reks ppls heads!
- —Guest Laura
Grammar drives me nuts!
- I am one of those grammar police, although I did learn something new, e.g. the difference between ie and e.g. Thanks for that! The other that I find happens all the time is the jump from a singular subject to a plural possessive, and the verb is in the wind, it is either singular or plural depending on the speaker or writer. Everybody does it and it drives me nuts! E.g. "Everybody needs to grab their math book and head to the gym". Awful. Just awful.
- —Guest Thank you!