Well, it’s the holiest of holy days for the editorial staff at AY About You and Arkansas Money & Politics. It’s National Grammar Day. And instead of asking for the day off, we are going to give you a gift – the gift of things that bother us grammatically.
Here is our list in no particular order:
- I’ll go first. “It’s” means it is. “Its” is the possessive form of it.
- OK, Lisa again. I don’t care what the legislature passed over ten years ago about the correct way to make Arkansas possessive. We prefer Arkansas’. Not Arkansas’s. Say it the way the lawmakers wrote it. It just sounds dumb.
- OK, last one. I promise. But it’s not “her and I like to shop.” It is “she and I.” It’s not “for Bubba and I.” It’s “for Bubba and me.” A trick is to remove the first word of the two words (take away Bubba), and you wouldn’t say “for I.” You’d say “for me.”
- Dustin Jayroe is the editor at AY About You, and he’s so dang affable. He won’t go ballistic, but he does have a few things that bother him. The one he and I share is getting the Christmas card from your friends the Smiths, and it says, “Happy Holidays from the Smith’s.” Ouch. Apostrophes don’t have plurals. Steve Jobs from his grave has programmed iPhones to autocorrect with an apostrophe when you have a plural (it will make it Tuesday’s when it should be Tuesdays). Unless Tuesday or the Smiths have possession over the word that follows it, then there is no apostrophe. For example, Tuesday’s child or Sarah Smith’s dog. (The dog that belongs to the Smiths is the Smiths’ dog. Plural possessive, but that’s for another lesson).
- Mark Carter is our awesome writer and editor over at AMP. Mark hates it when you write, “Arkansas won their…” when it should be “Arkansas won its…” Arkansas is singular so therefore the pronoun should be singular.
- While Mark is at it, let’s go over this one: dangling modifiers. Memba those from 9th grade English? Here’s one. “Reading Mark’s copy, time came to a standstill.” You see, you have to ask yourself, who was reading Mark’s copy? Not “time.” It should read, “Reading Mark’s copy, I realized time came to a standstill.”
- Jennifer Christman Cia is our last set of eyes to read over the copy of the publications from AY Media Group. She is an award-winning columnist and editor. And sadly, even though many of us read over the articles before she sees them, she STILL finds many errors! But her pet peeve is unnecessary hyphens attached to adverbs that end in “ly.” She says, “It’s a highly annoying (not highly-annoying) practice!”
- Tyler Hale is our online editor with a degree from Harvard. So he can have any grammatical pet peeve he wants. But these are his. He hates the confusion of “they’re” vs. “their.” They’re means they are. It’s a good old contraction. Say that when you write it. Their means “belongs to them.” His other is ending sentences with the word “of.” Or any preposition for that matter.
We want you to celebrate this fine day like we do-by making fun of people who make grammatical errors online and in social media. (Kidding).