Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Doing my bit for the Red Marker blogathon

A blogger friend of mine, Ummon, pointed me towards the Red Marker Blogathon hosted by Sunayana Roy. I’m glad she did because I’m always happy to rant on about my pet peeves, most of which are to do with misused idioms and incorrectly spelt words and poor grammar.

Ok, here goes, and this is only a tiny sample because I couldn’t possibly list ‘em all at one go!

- Wich (or “witch”) when what they (any and all misspellers) mean “which”. (So what do they call those ladies with pointy hats and black flowing robes who are reputed to fly about on broomsticks? Which witch is which? deary deary me...)

- “I damn care” – for “I don’t damned well care” or “I don’t care/give a damn” .

- “Where is your native” – meaning “Where do you come from?” A lot of Indians also say "I went to my native during my trip to India", and by that they mean the village or small town where they grew up. It's an expression that I dislike intensely. How much more effort would it take to add "place" after "native" and thus make it sound better?

- “He’s always loosing his things” – for “He’s always losing his things”.

Following on from that, using “loosed” (He loosed his pajamas) instead of “loosened” (as in made looser, or less tight).

And following on from THAT, calling someone a “looser” instead of a “loser”.

- This one’s way more common than it should be, sadly – random insertion of apostrophes where not required, and NOT adding an apostrophe where it IS required. Eg 1: “Your’s” - as in “this bag is your’s”, or “Your’s sincerely”, where it should be “yours”. “Yours” is a possessive pronoun, indicating something that belongs to you. No apostrophe required.

Eg 2. “Potato’s sold here”. An apostrophe followed by the “s” usually denotes a contraction. For example. “It’s” is a contraction of “It is”, “don’t” is a contraction of “do not”. So writing “Her’s” is wrong, because “her is” makes no sense. “Hers” is, again, a possessive pronoun.

Just “expanding” the word with the apostrophe will tell you whether or not it (the apostrophe) is in the correct place. It's so simple... and yet thousands and thousands of people get it wrong!

- I come across this ALL THE TIME in food blogs. “Palette” instead of “palate”, as in “This recipe will tempt your palette”. (How, exactly?) A palette is a flat board on which an artist might mix colours while painting. A “palette” can also refer to the range of colours that the selfsame artist might have used in his finished painting. “Palate”, on the other hand, is the sense of taste in humans (sometimes refined, sometimes not), and it also refers to the roof of the mouth.

- Using “pour” where the correct usage is “pore”. "He poured over his textbook". NO! It POURS with rain. He PORES over his textbook. If he POURED (anything) over his bloody book, it would do him no good at exam time, especially in the English exam!

I’m going to stop now, because I’m beginning to froth at the mouth. But if anybody wants more, I can do it again tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that. And the day after the day after that...
Just don’t tempt me.


Anonymous said...

Have you posted this link on her blog?

What about its and it's. I see that so often.
I feel the mix up with apostrophe usage is more out of laziness than ignorance.
What about 'I gave my exam'?

Funny you mention palate usage. Just yesterday I was kicking myself for missing it while editing, and the mag has gone to press. GRR!

You should do a weekly post on RMB :)

Teesu (very very Indian, very very good) said...

Ah, posts! I poured over your's. :D Then, its so nice that your blog post speaks for it's self. :D I think you have enough on your palette for now. Frothing at the mouth? Add the white colour from your froth to your palate :D But in my native, they call it jollu :D

You must now think your cuz is a looser:D

Boy, am I enjoying this! Tempted enough? More, please...MORE!

Now, doubt: What about 'I care a damn!' does that work? serious doubt.

Shyam said...

Ummon: Yep, left a comment on her blog with the link, thanks :)

Its and it's - sort of covered in the apostrophes point, no? For the record actually, I think it's ignorance. Laziness comes in where you write "dont" or "cant" - it's not technically correct, but ok in an informal setting. And in any case there's confusing its meaning.

Who'd you give the exam to? :) I'm all for it as long as it's not me!

heheh to the weekly post.

Teesu: Romba vaal aattarai.... :)

Sue said...

LOL Thanks.

Any Tamil peeves?

Uttara said...

Yes, yes, please continue!

Lekhni said...

Misuse of the Apostrophe is something that irritates me too (I am sadly, a grammar and spelling Nazi).

On "yours", it's funny that not only do people add an apostrophe to "your's" but they leave it out when most needed - I grit my teeth every time I read "your welcome". It should be "you're welcome", unless you are throwing me a welcome party :D

'Ema said...

Don't forget "How's the climate today?" Grrrr...that really annoys me.

And the worst part is when people refuse to get things right, saying "If you understand what I mean, how does it matter?" Annoys me more.

More posts on this topic, please :)