I was happy until I started writing this blog post. Thinking about the amount of grammatical errors people make in their writing really grinds my gears but hey, none of us are perfect! (You should have paid more attention in school though, let's be real.)
I've been thinking of incorporating more writing-based blog posts into laviederhi.com, and today I'm kicking off with with some frequently-made mistakes and how to avoid them. These mistakes are most commonly found in writing, so you can generally get away with them whilst having a conversation. However, writing is a big part of our lives - how many of us have to send e-mails whilst at work or write captions for social media posts? We may not be using a pen everyday, but we're certainly typing.
I've seen people in positions of authority make the most embarrassing errors (check out George Bush's blunder back in 2007 in response to 3 Brazilian soldiers being killed in Iraq.) You don't want to be one of them! (An embarrassed person, I mean, not a person in a position of authority. Although for many this may also be undesirable.)
I'm hoping to open your eyes today. Let's go.
Whose vs. Who's
The easiest way to remember the difference between these two bad boys is to remind yourself what who's is short for - who is. Then you'll be able to figure out which word is appropriate in your sentence.
Who's under the apple tree with you? It's supposed to be me. (I hope someone gets this reference.)
Whose bag is this? (Here, whose is used in regard to possession.)
Affect vs. Effect
Affect is a verb. Effect is a noun. That's basically it.
How has this affected you?
Has this had a big effect on you?
Accept vs. Except Accept is a verb. Except is a preposition. To accept means to take something that is given to you, to say yes to an invitation or offer and to agree to do something. Except means something is not included. You could remind yourself of the words 'exception' or 'exceptional' to help you remember this - something is acting as the odd thing out, essentially.
I accepted his invitation to the party.
Everyone is going except my brother.
This is not a word. Never use it.
Lay vs. lie
I can understand why people get these two mixed up. Hell, I only realised the difference between them quite recently. They have similar meanings - to lay means to put something down physically, such as a child in their bed or a pencil on the desk, whilst to lie means you are placing yourself down e.g on the bed. To lay takes a direct object whilst to lie doesn't.
I laid the paper down and smiled triumphantly at my amazing work.
I lay down in shock after realising it was actually all gibberish.
Obviously lie has another meaning, but I'm pretty sure I don't need to spell that out for you. You're not that slow.
Weary vs. wary
Ok, this one really irritates me, and people do use it in speech as well as in writing.
Weary is defined as physically exhausted after hard work, dissatisfied or impatient - basically tired and / or fed up. Wary means you are on guard against danger, or you are just being cautious. Quite different meanings.
Thinking about the improper use of 'weary' and 'wary' makes me weary.
If I were you, I'd be wary of getting them mixed up.
Lord have mercy, this is another one that actually makes me squirm when used incorrectly. Hence already includes the 'why'. You don't need to add a 'why' after it. It has eaten the 'why'. HENCE HAS GOBBLED UP THE 'WHY', OKAY?!
Some people don't pay attention in English class, hence why they use words incorrectly. - No, No, No.
Some people don't pay attention in English class, hence they do dumb sh*t like using 'hence' incorrectly. - Yes
Practice vs. Practise
This one's hard, and it does depend on whether you are American or British (I could do a whole separate blog post on the differences between the two dialects.)
In Britain, practise is a verb and practice is a noun.
I really need to practise hula-hooping.
Are you going to dance practice later?
Compliment vs. Complement
*DJ Khaled voice* Another one.
Generally, compliment is a noun whilst complement is a verb. They have similar meanings, and this is because they share the same Latin root.
Complement is to do with two things working in harmony. You have complementary angles, which are two angles that add up to 90°. Something can complement something else, which means the first thing brings out the beauty in the other thing, and they are more beautiful together (wow, this got mushy very quickly.)
Compliment is used to express praise or admiration of someone or something. Something complimentary is free, like a complimentary drink on an aeroplane.
That shirt really complements your eyes.
Hey, I'm just giving you a compliment! I'm not trying to flirt. I know you've got a boyfriend *rolls eyes*
Just remember, if something complements something else it completes it.
Loose vs. Lose
Loose means that something is not tight. To lose is the opposite of to win. Again, we have a slight difference due to the fact that one is a noun and one is a verb. Although these two words actually don't have any common ground.
I guess you could remember this by thinking of other words such as 'noose' and...ok, I could only think of one word. Just think of using these words incorrectly as a death sentence - you'll have a noose around your neck if you get them mixed up.
This dress is very loose on me.
I'm never going to lose the game!
You wouldn't say 'alittle' so why would you say...ok, whatever.
'Peaked my interest'
I don't know if you guys say 'peaked my interest' or 'peeked my interest' but the correct wording is 'piqued my interest'. One meaning of pique is to arouse or excite, and this is what happens when you become more interested in something. Amongst other things.
Bear vs. Bare Bear is an animal (noun) as well as a verb. To bear means to tolerate or endure something. Bare refers to something being open, revealed or...naked. Please bear with me - I'm just dealing with an overexcited bear!
Yes, he's completely bare from head to toe.
'Could of', 'should of', 'would of'
Just...no. I won't delve into the grammatical details, but these do not make sense.
Could have, would have and should have are correct.
Could have paid attention in English class? Certainly. Would have if you hadn't have been distracted by that cute guy in the corner? Sure. Should have asked him out after leaving school? I don't know...he was actually a bit of a weirdo.
E.g vs. I.e
Knowing the difference between these two is actually incredibly useful, and I'm happy to be finishing with this pair. You don't have to know Latin to remember the difference, but a little bit of the language does help. E.g stands for Exempli grati, meaning 'for example'. I.e stands for Id est, meaning 'that is'. So e.g is used to give an example whilst i.e refers to another way of saying something.
You could really improve your quality of life if you e.g revised English.
The characters live in The Big Smoke, i.e, London.
That's it for today, folks! I could probably do another blog post on this, or two or three...English is actually pretty hard sometimes - I'll give you that.