We all have our bad moments. There are times when, even if I go over my work twice or thrice, typos still go unnoticed. You know what I am talking about, don’t you?
However, there are mistakes that are just so common that you think people know better than to commit them. Committing these mistakes, in my eyes, can chip away at your credibility. (That’s a nice way of saying that making certain mistakes can make you look dumb.)
What are these mistakes?
- Your /You’re
“Your” is a possessive pronoun: You should proofread your blog posts in order to avoid mistakes.
“You’re” is the contraction of “You are”: You’re not going to impress anyone with those mistakes.
Simple, isn’t it? The problem is that, when you are not paying much attention to your writing, it is easy to slip up. While you may not be stupid, making this mistake can cause other people to think otherwise.
This “confusion” just irks the heck out of me. Consider this:
I like coffee better then tea.
Doesn’t that just make you want to break a pencil in half?
“Then” can function in different ways, but we often use it as an adverb to indicate an action that happens “soon after” another action. Here’s a simple example: I ate lunch and then went back to work.
“Than” is a totally different animal. It is a conjunction that is used when comparing things/ideas: Weekends are more stressful than weekdays.
The difference is very easy to remember, but a habit of a lifetime may be hard to let go. If you don’t want to come across as dumb, though, you’ll easily remember which is which.
“They’re” is the contraction of “They are”: They are not going to like your ideas.
“Their” is a possessive pronoun: Their dog barks all day.
“There” can be a noun, an adverb, or an interjection. Perhaps the most common use is as an adverb: Here, there, and everywhere.
I blame fat fingers for making mistakes related to these three terms – fat fingers and minds going at high speeds.