Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I say, you say...

For those of you lovlies that are my faithful Facebook friends, you certainly have seen the recent rant I posted about the difference between "you're" and "your". I'm not naming names, but there are a few people who seem to confuse the two. Very nearly have I tossed my computer out the window when I see such errors.

So, I'm setting the record straight. And don't get all huffy, because I shall be talking about my own English conundrums with a request for help and/or clarification. This should please our professors and writers, eh Nomz? ;-)

First things first:

You're is a contraction. It is you and are combined for convenience (in my opinion). Examples: "When you're outside, please rake the leaves." or "You're quite the comedian!". If you aren't sure which to use in a sentence, try breaking it down. "You are quite the comedian!"

Your is the possessive form of you and can also be an adjective. So, when you use it, it will most always be talking about something in possession of someone. Example: "Is that your jacket?" or "I like your idea!" See how the two really cannot be interchangeable?

The biggest issue I have with this error is that it can cause some... confusion (for me, at least) when trying to read a sentence. Using the correct word is just as important as using a comma or period in the right place.

A-hem: other things.
~Its is possessive (like your) and it's is a combination of it and is.
~ The difference between "and I" or "and me" is a tough one. I've always remembered it this way: when you break the sentence down into two separate sentences, use the word that fits. Example: "This picture is of Tim and ___". Here, I would use "me" since the sentence would not make sence if it said "This picture is of I". Another example: "Tim and ___ are going to the mall." Here, I would use "I" since "Me is going to the mall" is incorrect. Tell me, English professionals, is this correct??

~Do I even need to get started on their, there and they're??!

So now, my issue(s). I, for some reason, have a horrible habit of putting the accent of "contribute" in the wrong place and I have no idea where I got it from. For once and for all, is it CONtribute or conTRIbute??? Do my British peeps say one instead of the other? I'm really trying to figure out where I picked up the word I use. The same goes for "distribute". When it comes down to it, I do not use grammar correctly all of the time. But I do try. So, if you see something I write that is not the way it should be, tell me! I promise I won't get offended and I'll try to remember the rules of proper English.
Oh, and do feel free to provide your own grammatical corrections here in our comments section. :)
Okay... nerdy rant over.


PD said...

My pet peeve? The improper use of possessive apostrophes. I see stuff like this a lot: "Guy's, let's go get some burgers" NOT NECESSARY, yo. Apostrophes in proper nouns are possessive! So you'd only need them if the "guys" are in ownership of something. For exaaaaample: "This guy's feet stink" Notice that the apostrophe BEFORE the "s" makes this a singular possessive. If we wanted to convey that more than one guy has stinky feet, it would look like this: "Those guys' feet smell like ass"
Ah the intricities of grammar. Now, where's my spell check? :)

Sazaran said...

Thanks, PD! Doesn't it work the same way when someone's (eh? eh?) name ends in S? Like... "James' feet really smell like a dying rat."

Lover of your BLOG! said...

I ALWAYS double check my grammer prior to posts on Facebook and Twitter....because this is a pet peeve for me as well!

Thanks Sarah for posting this...people need to slow down and post appropriately!

PD said...

Sarazan--totally. All proper nouns are prone to apostrophe blunders, so watch out!

calamityjill said...

Mine is the period outside the quotation marks. It makes me twitch. There are some exceptions to punctuation in/outside of quotes but mostly I scream, "IN! IIIIIN!"
One that I find hilarious is when people mix up 'accept' & 'except.'

Reese said...

My pet peeve that EVERYONE does (even you guys on the blog) and me: overuse and abuse of commas.

Commas are only needed to break up sentences for readers. And readers don't need a sentence broken up every other word most of the time :)

But good blog. Should read Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. Great book on grammar that is absolutely hilarious. My teacher gave it to me when I got my English degree :p

Sazaran said...

I always heard that a comma goes where you take a breath. I must be a breathy talker- 'cause I write the way I speak. Sometimes, though, I notice that I am using commas too much... what's the difference between a , and a -? Don't you use them to add detail that doesn't necessarily need to be in the sentence? Kinda like I used it for "though" up there?

Nomz said...

*GUILTY* of heavy comma use.

I was taught the same thing-to use them when you would normally breathe if this was to be read out loud. Apparently, I, breathe, a, lot. ;)

I've been working on it though, or trying to.

This blog rocks!

Anonymous said...

Commas are almost subjective, in my opinion. As are em dashes. It's all about the flow you want your piece to have.
However, I do have major qualms with the "inside the quotes" mark. Mostly because if you think about it logically, when you're quoting someone that quote may not end even though your sentence does. Therefore, (in my opinion--down with the man! who made the rules, anyway--I challenge him!) the period, since it's not a part of the quote itself, should be outside. And I'll continue to do it. It's the one grammar rule I challenge--and break on purpose--every chance I get.

Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky said...

Great post, Sarazan! Grammatical errors drive me nuts as well, and it takes a lot of restraint to not comment my friends' FB updates with corrections. :)

Swtiching to a side topic of spelling, I'd like to add that I find it extremely annoying how many people honestly think that the day following today is truly spelled "tomarrow."

Jill said...

Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth. The 'your' and 'you're' thing drives me NUTS. It is really not a difficult concept.

My other pet peeve is when people use text message lingo when they aren't texting. All those cute little abbreviations are great for texting, but please use real English when you are writing something online.

But I will confess that I am guilty of overusing commas and dashes. I love 'em.

Sazaran said...

Jill, "tomarrow" and also "definately". Helloooo, it's d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y. :)

Check out this site I just found: http://www.d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y.com/. HAHAHA!

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