They're language, its effecting me, two!
If you didn’t notice anything wrong with the title of this post, please quit your job, drop out of college, stop whatever you are doing, go find your 3rd grade teacher, and smack them for failing miserably. Seriously. Why is it that I see these mistakes over and over again? I’m not perfect either, but I do pride myself on at least getting most of my mother tongue written down correctly. I have some comma mistakes here and there. Every now and again, I make some small grammatical error. But there are some words out there, that I believe it is extremely important to know the meaning and correct spelling of. Even though everyone that reads it, will still know what you’re trying to say, it is that much more important, that people learn the correct way, so that the incorrect way doesn’t become even more mainstream. So here we go:
- Their – Possessive. As in: That is their house. That is their car. The house and the car belong to them. Clear?
- They’re – In the english language, apostrophes usually denote a missing letter and/or a combination of two words. They are. Period.
- There – Over there. Not here. There. Alright?
- To – “I sent this letter to her.” “Let’s go to the store.”
- Too – Pretty much a synonym for “also”. “I wanna go, too!” Notice how it always has a comma preceding it in this context? It is also used for extremeties like “I am too tired”.
- Two – Whoever made up the English language even went to the extra trouble of adding a silent ‘w’ to this word, so that you wouldn’t get it mixed up. This is only used for the number 2.
Round three (this is probably the hardest to remember, therefore the most important):
- Its – Possessive. Belonging to it. “Its hat.” The hat belongs to it.
- It’s – Combination of ‘it’ and ‘is’ or ‘has’. “It’s a long way to the top.” or “It’s been a long time since we’ve been there”
- Effect – This is a noun. Don’t try to use it as a verb. It doesn’t make any sense. “What kind of effect does this have on me?”
- Affect – This is a verb. “How does this affect me?”
Okay. I hope you all can see that the similarity in pronunciation of these words makes it that much more important to learn the difference between them. Or else pretty soon everyone would be using these words interchangeably in any written context. Oh wait. That already happens. I’m not pointing fingers at individuals that make these mistakes. I am more disgusted at how many teachers didn’t correct them, and how many subsequent high school and college teachers continue to let their students make these mistakes. Am I the only one that had a decent 3rd grade teacher? I see college students make these kinds of mistakes and they don’t get corrected. Just because someone makes a grammar mistake in a Computer Science class, doesn’t mean it isn’t the instructor’s responsibility to correct it. Language isn’t just something for English class. It’s used by everyone everywhere.
Update: Okay, apparantly, everybody doesn’t read my blog, because I just saw another one that hurts… so here is Round 5:
- Then – This is a time reference. “Now and then”, “Back then”, etc..
- Than – This is used in comparative statements. “I have more money than you.” “I’m cooler than you!”
I know it’s just one letter difference… but… it’s only one letter… so it shouldn’t be too hard to memorize, okay?