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There are always those grammatical errors that grate on you. And, I suspect there are ones you make that grate on others. Add to that the persnickety grammar nazis who’ll make a big deal out of rare, tiny little thing. The team at 11points.com have helped out by making this list of 11 Little-Known Grammatical Errors That Will Shock and Horrify You. I actually suspect they just wanted to use the word horrify in a headline. It’s a delicious word.
OK, back to the list.
I know I’m guilty of a few of these. It’s my new mission to stop misusing hopefully. Please slap me if I ever use heart-wrenching again. I’m curious to see if some of these grammatical errors become so commonly used that they develop into acceptable phrases. Try and versus try to, and lay low would probably cause bar fights if you try to correct someone.
But, then we have barb wire. Who the *bleep* gets that wrong?
How to avoid making grammatical errors
I’m the first to admit my grammar isn’t perfect. I went through school in Australia when whole word learning was the craze. We learned through doing, which only resulted in me studying more French grammar than English.
So how do I avoid grammatical errors? I have a few tools to help me.
My Grammarly account has paid for itself many times over. I write a post, report, or essay and drop it in Grammarly. It tells me what is incorrect and why. I choose which errors I want to correct (sometimes it’s for style), then copy the document back over. I can install plug-ins to check Word and Chrome as I go, but it doesn’t work as well on Mac and Safari.
To learn what I don’t know that I don’t know, I listen to Grammar Girl’s weekly podcast. It’s full of tips, tricks, and trivia. I love that she explains the differences between UK and US English with her tips. The differences are subtle, but from starting with UK English in Australia, then moving to the US, I get confused.
Finally, I also have some smart friends who don’t laugh at me for my questions.
Which grammatical errors annoy you? Share your pain in the comments. Oh, and if you have any other helpful tools, please add those too.