Grammar. It’s one of those things that can have a dramatic affect on the way a person internalises the message you’re intending to get across, as well as your perceived intelligence. Part of the national curriculum is English, yet so many people seem to have either slept through all of their classes or just completely not paid attention.
As a reader, it’s completely offensive to read something that’s either punctuated really badly or the completely wrong words are used. Of course with the nature of writing today, everything is done on a computer and so it can be very easy to make a mistake when typing. One, two or three mistakes is forgivable in my eyes but if you’re using an excess of commas and forgetting to use full stops then I really think you should take time out of your “writing” to brush up on those simple rules of English.
After witnessing many strange things that people opt to use in their writing, I have decided to compile a list of the ones that are the most annoying. Either your (YOUR NOR YOU’RE!) English teacher did a bad job or you just shouldn’t be writing. I’m inclined to go with the latter.
1. Ask/Aks – I didn’t know what ‘aks’ meant until I Google searched. Apparently it’s a 2001 Hindi supernatural thriller film directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. You learn something new every day! Therefore if you ASK your girlfriend to have sex with you or ASK your Facebook friends to pander to your insecurities and tell you how beautiful you look in every single picture you post every other second, this has nothing to do with any Hindi film.
2. Regardless/Irregardless – I wish irregardless was a word, as it rolls off the tongue quite well and sounds pretty intellectual. However, it isn’t. No matter how many times you say it, it isn’t and will never be part of the English language.
3. Deaf/Death – “He couldn’t hear me because he was death.” Hey, what? Does that mean he turned up at your door dressed as the Grim Reaper? No, of course it doesn’t! If somebody is hard of hearing, they are DEAF. If they are a tall skeletal figure, donning a black hooded cloak and carrying a scythe to harvest souls with you can be pretty sure that this person is DEATH. In this case, you wouldn’t be blamed for soiling your underwear through sheer panic.
4. Meme/Me-me – This is a bit of a modern one, as it relies upon the phenomenon of the internet. MEME is pronounced like SCREAM, as in ‘I’m going to scream if you continue to mispronounce words!’
5. Lose/Loose – Jessie J actually has a tattoo on her ribs, of her OWN LYRICS, saying “Don’t loose who you are in the blur of the stars.” Obviously LOOSE should be substituted for LOSE here. Confusion with these words can cause a little bit of awkwardness. Example 1: ‘I don’t want to lose you.’ Example 2: ‘I don’t want to loose you.’ Using the second can imply you’re a psychotic partner who is super controlling and won’t let your boyfriend/girlfriend off the metaphorical leash you keep them attached to. If you are actually expressing your undying love for somebody and mean LOSE, don’t be surprised if they become freaked out at you refusing to allow them some space by using the word LOOSE.
6. Commas – Since when did commas become alternatives to full stops? I literally read something earlier today that was rife with commas. If you’re a comma lover, cool. Whatever floats your boat and all but stop being full-stop-phobic! Allow people to breathe when reading whatever you have written, as full stops allow a slightly longer pause than commas do.
7. Full Stops – Continuing on from the misuse of commas, people just don’t like full stops! For some reason they find them completely offensive. What’s a full stop ever done to you?! Not using full stops can actually have unfortunate consequences. For example, I saw a sign that read: Toilet only for disabled elderly pregnant children. I’m racking my brains trying to think of a person who this applies to. Yoda? That’s the closest I got. Let me know if you locate a person who fits into all of those categories because they have a designated toilet waiting for them.
I could go on and on. Each day there are new words being substituted for others. If your writing is attempting to be witty and clever, at least get your punctuation right! There’s nothing worse than a person as funny as my left toe attempting to be amusing and then punctuating to the level of a 7-year-old. Not only do you lose your meaning, you lose the attention of your audience. If you’re writing and putting your work out there, you’re obviously expecting people to read it. Therefore please take the time to either a) proof read what you publish or b) learn the simple rules of the English language. This extends to Facebook and Twitter, as well as other social media platforms. I’ve even read CVs where people have incorrectly spelled a big chunk of the fabricated qualifications they deem themselves to have. Absolutely baffling!