I recently got a rather…hm, how shall I put this…Let’s say a rather “brusque” comment here on the Other Stuff blog. It seems that in sharing my desire to spend a holiday in/on Maui, I managed to annoy the ever-living daylights out of one of my readers. Apparently, she lives IN Hawaii (which I’ve been assured is OK to say because it’s a group of islands, not just one) and she says “my skin crawls” when someone says they are interested in being “in” Maui, rather than being “on” Maui. It seemed a little odd to get bent out of shape enough to post about the issue, but to each their own, right?
That got me to thinking about the little grammatical issues that bug the heck out of me, and I thought I’d share a few of them here. I’d love for you all to add your two-cents’ worth.
- When people say they’re “humbled” by an experience when they really mean that they’re “flattered.” Saying you’re humble when you mean you’re flattered is incredibly un-humble.
- Misusing the word “literally.” If you don’t know what it means, don’t say it at all.
- People who leave comments on blogs that should actually be sent as private emails. (This isn’t a pot-shot at the commentator, but she did remind me of it.) I once had a guy publicly (online) point out a mistake I made and then ask me to hire him to do marketing for my company. Um, no.
- Using random, commas, because you think, maybe one should go, here and better safe, than sorry.
- When people hold up signs at political rallies that are misspelled. I know not everyone is a great speller, but if you’re going to all the work of making a sign to publicly espouse your views, use a dictionary.
- Using “then” when you mean “than” and vice versa. I’m as guilty as the next person of making these kinds of mistakes from time to time, but this one really annoys me for some reason.
So, what do you have for me, Internet? I know that you writers out there probably have a laundry list of these things, and I want to read every last one of them so I can either stop making that mistake or feel smug because I don’t.