Top Ten Graffar Gammes—I Mean Grammar Gaffes.

10:19 PM Elizabeth Seckman 34 Comments

Let's all give the goodest welcome to Jeff Laferney!

 Jeff is a writer, an editor, and an English teacher-

And he's here to share his list of biggest grammar gaffes.

 I ain't gonna waste no more time...here's Jeff!


1.       Your and you’re.  Your going to be scratching you’re head when you read this blog post, but if your just able to remember that “you’re” always means “you are,” then you’ll be sure to spell both words good from now on.

2.       Good and well.  “Good” is always an adjective, like … good Lord, I don’t spell good. I know, I should have used “well” at the end of that sentence because “well” is an adverb used to describe a verb. You actually spell “well.” And spelling well would make you feel good, wouldn’t it? No, it wouldn’t. You don’t feel good because even though “good” is an adjective, you are supposed to use “well” as an adjective when its referring to health.

3.       It’s and its. I’m messing with all of you as I misuse these words, but its important for me to show you that correct spelling has it’s rules. “It’s” always means “it is” and is never possessive. Possessive nouns use apostrophes but possessive pronouns do not. Apostrophe’s, by the way, are not used to form plural’s. That bit of advice was free. Please try not to loose your mind as I continue.

4.        Lose and loose. You do not loose your mind, nor should you ever climb a ladder with loose shoelaces. Safety first, and all that. I understand that the “oo” sound is the same sound we use when we pronounce “lose,” but I’m going to loose my mind if people don’t stop misspelling that word. I see it a lot.

5.       A lot. Yep, it’s two words. Alot of times, I see it as one. It makes me want to scream—alot. It’s always two words. We don’t say bring me alincolnlog, or I’m opening acupboarddoor, or I’m chewing afishstick. “A” is an adjective. “Lot” is the noun it’s describing. And by the way, it would be nice to see that their are people that use “all right” as two words in they’re spelling too.

6.       There, their, and they’re. Are you getting frustrated with me? (Why? Did you not notice that I spelled “to, too, and two” correctly all three times in the above sentence while you were focusing on the misspelled words?) Surveys show that nine out of ten doctors recommend amputation of fingers every time “there, their, and they’re” are written or typed incorrectly. Not really…but a few amputations might go a long way toward solving the problem. “They’re” always means “they are.” I don’t see why people ever spell that incorrectly. “Their” is a possessive pronoun that means “it belongs to them.” The word is spelled correct as “there” in every other instance their is (I crack myself up).

7.       “Ly” has a use. Yes, if we want to spell correct, and write fluent, and communicate proper, and impress intelligent ladies sufficient, we should learn that “ly” is a suffix that is added to an adjective to turn it correctly into an adverb. And adverbs—those “ly” words—should have been used to describe the action verbs I used in those horrifying previous sentences to tell how the action was done. “Ly” is a useful little tool to show the opposite sex that we took our educations seriously…literally.

8.       Literally. This word actually has a literal definition. It means to adopt the exact meaning—nothing figurative…nothing exaggerated. It’s true—a strict interpretation of the words. I mean, I literally want to die when people use this word incorrectly. My head literally explodes and my eyes literally bug out of my head. I don’t have no other words to express the pain I feel.

9.       Double negatives. Some people, I swear, don’t know nothing because if I took those previous words literally, I would have to assume that if people don’t know nothing, they must know something. So if I want to say that people don’t know a single thing, I’d say they don’t know anything. What I’m trying to say in this blog is I don’t want no more bad grammar and spelling. It effects my mood.

10.   Effect and affect. My suggestion here is that when one of these two words comes up, just flip a coin and write something. Who cares if it’s correct or not because unless you know grammar, it’ll never make sense (I wasn’t being serious). “Affect” is a verb—an action verb. “Action” starts with “A” and so does “affect.” The word “effect” is a noun. If you can put “an” or “the” in front of it, it tells you a noun is coming. I like to remember “the effect” with “the” pronounced like “thee” and then there are two long “E” sounds in a row. Thee effect. That’s how I remember it, anyway.
There, wasn’t that unpleasant? Grammar and spelling are pains—pains that nearly drive us all crazy. If you’re trying to get your grammar right, however, it would be a good idea to learn the rules well. It’s definitely possible to learn a word’s spelling and its usage. You don’t have to lose your mind or jar your brains loose over this issue, but there are certainly a lot of rules to know. There are people who know their grammar because those rules, well, they’re learnable—so I carefully chose ten to teach that may not literally drive me nuts, but they certainly bother me. I, personally, don’t ever want to make any of those mistakes. The effects could dramatically affect how people perceive me, and I’d like for people to think I’m an intelligent guy—even if they think I have a weird sense of humor.


Jeff is the author of the Clay and Tanner Thomas series: 
Loving the Rain
Bulletproof 
& Skeleton Key

And his latest release:

About Jumper: After spending three years in jail and others completely alone, twenty-four-year-old Cole Flint discovers an amazing ability—he can time-travel and teleport. He’s a jumper. So what should the motorcycle-riding, cage-fighting tough guy do? He should protect an innocent eighteen-year-old girl who happens to be in possession of the Staff of Moses. Following the direction of a trio of angels who are determined to shake things up in the Middle East, Cole pairs up with Hannah Carpenter and her pet grizzly while he also tries to change his past and learn the mystery of his birth. Curiously, the King of Jordan knows all about Hannah, and he’s determined to gain possession of the staff. He’ll do anything to possess its power, but is it possible that he’s no more than a pawn, manipulated in time along with Cole and Hannah? Jumper is a mysterious roller coaster of action and a time-traveling adventure that will keep readers guessing right to the very last page.


34 comments:

  1. Hey, Elizabeth, Jeff!

    I'm so glad you're around to help us out, Jeff. When I was in the eight grade, our teacher would sing, a lot it two words, a lot is two words...." Effect and affect always mess me up, but thanks to this post, I think I've finally untangled the mix up. Now I can always come back to this post (instead of pestering Jeff on FB) when I'm in a grammar pickle. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Jeff is one smart guy!

      Always feel free to come back again and again...I miss you when you're gone!

      Delete
    2. Celeste, you can "pester" me all you want.

      Delete
  2. Excellent reminder and advice, Jeff. Like Celeste, I tend to confuse effect and affect. I think I'm just going to remember "The effects could dramatically affect how people perceive me" and hopefully that'll help me get it right next time. Good luck on your latest release, Jumper sounds like a great action/adventure book.

    *waves to Elizabeth* (:

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    1. I always get nervous about affect and effect. I think affect...verb...action. Both a's. I have to keep stuff simple...easily confused.

      Delete
  3. Thanks Jeff,

    It's always good to be reminded of the basics in life.

    That's one of the reasons I became a righter :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It runs in our jeans, Mark.

      (Totally gross, write?)

      Delete
    2. Mark, I'd attempt to type it wrong and would type it right anyway. Then I'd change it, and Word would change it back. It was an actual comedy of errors righting this blog. :)

      Delete
  4. I think my brain exploded, I'm actually having a headache right now. But still it is good to learn these things to improve our grammar.

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    1. Oh no! I hoe you feel better. I'm impressed you even visited while under the weather. But then you're always a trooper!

      Delete
  5. I see many of those used incorrectly. The double negative drives me crazy because I people talk like that here in the South all the time.

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    1. Ain't nothin' I don't not hear every day in WV neither.

      Delete
  6. I know I mess up with #2.

    It drives me crazy when people use loose instead of lose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mangle #2 in my speech and my writing. Well can be a little too formal at times, so I am good with good.

      The loose and lose thing I don't get...how do people confuse those? They aren't even similar!

      Delete
  7. These sort of reminders are always great. Thanks, Jeff!

    and Elizabeth - It's time for your 3-upers!!! I'm so excited to get you because it isn't like I don't stalk this blog all of the time ;)
    1) I love your honesty in your posts. You let the real you shine through without being shy (or you're a super-fantastic actress:) )
    2) Your A-Z was fantastic. At times I felt a little stupid, but I learned so much. Great idea!
    3) You're posts are supportive. I have the impression you're always willing to help out fellow writers (and others, I'm sure) and spread your positive attitude.
    4) ... oh, I'm done? I could keep going.
    Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How sweet!!! Thank you!

      I have to be honest. I am an incredibly good actress. I'm not really a pudgy 40 year old who tends to be on the ditz side. I am actually a buff Mensa member named Duke who likes to dress in drag.

      Not buying it?

      Sigh. Nope, you're right. I'm just me. Too lazy to be anything different and yes, I would gladly help my fellows, not because I am a good person, but because I am greedy and want a super big mansion in eternity ;)

      Delete
  8. I'm so glad it's not just me that finds these annoying. I always want to get my correction pen out when I see them.

    *just double-checking now to make sure this post is right*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. That is always my luck...I'd put a typo in the middle of the comment!

      Delete
  9. Thanks Jeff. Those are some of the grammar rules I have imprinted on the back of my eyelids so I can cheat on english exams.

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    1. What a great idea!!! I wish I had thought of that and spared my seat mate's forehead!

      Delete
  10. first, yay for football moms!
    good luck to cole!

    and boo for grammar snafus! i gave tons of editing tips, including those above, and am still guilty of them!! ack!

    oh well!
    have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your tips were great Tara! And I still make plenty of grammar gaffes myself!

      Delete
  11. lol...great post and makes me miss my old English classes....


    ...o.k, well not really :P

    Some great reminders there...especially about "a lot" and 'you're'/'your'....I see that one 'alot' :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. English was the one class I looked forward to...anything not to have to do math!

      Delete
  12. Yep those are the usual suspects.

    Glad I found this book since I just wrote a time travel story. Love comparing TT methods!!

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    1. TT is very intriguing! I would love to be able to hop around different eras.

      Delete
  13. I find that even though I know my their from my they're and there, it's still something I have to slow down and double check!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. I make the its and it's mistake in comments all the time, then I'll submit and see it and cringe.

      Delete
  14. Yes indeed, I have or I've finally arrived to leaf, sorry leave one of my highly anticipated, award winning, highly collectable comments.

    Now then, Jeff, I not know nothing from reading your post on grammar. Okay, with the exception you should spell in proper English, as in English, English, n' stuff..It is, or it's "humour", not "humor" (apologies to my English, English spell-check).

    Hi Elizabeth! Your, oops, you're incredibly welcome for my comment. A peaceful long weekend, y'all!

    Gary :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your sense of humour Gary!! And I'll leaf humor as humour even if my American spell checker puts the red line under it!

      Delete
  15. As a fellow English teacher, I truly appreciate Jeff pointing these out!
    In Medias Res

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    1. English teachers united to end the murder of the English language!

      Delete
  16. I get about 8 out of 10 - not bad, eh? Affect and effect always confuses me, and occasionally I have call to use a double negative. eg...
    Mum - "You don't like my cake, do you?"
    Me - "I don't NOT like it, but..."
    or something to that effect/affect :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But that would seem to be a proper use of a double negative, so that doesn't count as an error.

      I pause at affect and effect too...and that seems to be universal.

      Delete

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