Posted by: LovelyAnomaly | January 21, 2009

Change starts here

Inauguration this and inauguration that.  I’m not much of a political person–though I did grab my box of Kleenex and mug of tea to watch the event on TV.  There are a lot of things that could be taken away from the milestone event of our nation.  Perhaps most importantly, I learned how to spell inauguration correctly.

Let me toot my own horn and say that I have some stellar spelling skills (and alliteration skills, too).  Back in 5th grade our teacher was mortified at our spelling mistakes.  She started giving out spelling assignments every week.  I wish all teachers had stressed the importance of spelling as much as she did, because it would make reading some e-mails and blogs much more enjoyable.  Having a mom and two aunts as teachers turned me into a grammar/spelling fanatic.  President Obama wants us to dust ourselves off and start creating some change.  I wanted to start by fixing my top ten spelling/grammar pet peeves.

A lot – It’s two words, people.  It shouldn’t be so hard.

Definitely – There are definitely no As in this word.  

Independent –  This word is also independent of the letter A.

It’s / Its – I know this breaks the usual apostrophe rule, but bear* with me.  If you want it to be possessive, ditch the apostrophe and use “its”.  If you wanted to say “it is” stick that apostrophe in there.  It’ll make you sound like you at least passed 5th grade English.

Recommend – Double Ms, but only one C.

Separate – There’s a rat in the middle of separate. 

Their / They’re / There – If you want it to be possessive, say “their”.  If you wanted to say “they are” stick in the apostrophe.  Everywhere else, it’s there.

To / Too / Two To is a preposition (Go to the store).  Too is an adverb meaning “also”.  (I want to go to the store, too!)  Two is the number (I bought two bananas at the store).

Until – There’s only one L in this word.  I don’t know how to stress that one enough.

Your / You’re – Again with the apostrophe.  If you want it to be possessive use your.  i.e. : Your mom!  If you wanted to say “you are”, stick in that apostrophe.  You’re welcome.

Phew.  I feel a little bit better.  I’ll step down from my soapbox now.  You can thank me later.


*On a side note – If I had said “bare with me” then I would have been asking you to get naked.  And unless you’re Johnny Depp… No.  Just, no.



  1. i’m not sure if there was a jab at me or not

  2. the better way to say the previous comment is:

    “i’m not sure if this was a jab at me or not”

  3. Nope. Just putting it out there for the general Internets to see. : )

  4. I’ve always been pretty good at spelling (except for the time I misspelled the word “square” in a spelling bee in front of my entire school), but being a Classics major has turned me into a grammar freak. I hate ending sentences with prepositions. I’ve also realized why it’s wrong to say, “Hopefully, this semester won’t be too hard.” I cringe now every time I say “hopefully,” even though my linguistics background reminds me that it’s normal for languages to change, and “hopefully” therefore doesn’t have to always be just an adverb.

    Another thing that really bothers me is participles that don’t relate to their nouns. In Latin and Greek, because participles have different forms based on what they are doing in the sentence, the noun modifying a participle doesn’t have to be very close to the participle, which makes reading Latin and Greek (especially Greek) sometimes difficult. I hate it, however, when I’ll hear something on TV like, “Having fled the jurisdiction, the detectives filed a bench warrant for her arrest.” The detectives didn’t flee the jurisdiction!

  5. That’s a great one. I swear a teacher must have use “alot” because I’ve been using it for years. I only checked the dictionary to find it wasn’t a word a few months ago and I’ve been working hard to break the habit.

    Consistently inappropriate usage of your, you’re, their, there, they’re, to, two and especially too get me riled up sometimes too but I notice even the most careful spellers mix them up on occasion so I’m learning not to fret. Any hints for how to remember to spell occasion correctly? It’s always seemed a little odd to me.

  6. Um, I love this post, and this is SO a big reason why you and I are such good friends. 🙂

    I also wanted you to know that, just now, while reading (an actual PUBLISHED BOOK), the author/editor/whomever made the you/you’re mistake. I actually did a double-take when I saw it. Gross.

    Another thing that kills me (although it’s somehow more acceptable than spelling mistakes) is putting a preposition at the end of a sentence. Ugh.

  7. I also get very upset about all of the errors you cited. My biggest “phrase” pet peeve? I could care less. Oh, could you? Well then you still CARE to some degree and thus are not being very scathing. It’s I COULDN’T care less, people.

    …But that might just be me.

    • I know exactly what you mean! That’s right up there with “couldn’t hardly wait”. That’s one of those sneaky double negatives, and it gets people all the time. And drives people like me craaazy.
      : ) Thanks for the comment!

  8. I was a 7th grade spelling bee champ, but ‘separate’ trips me up every time. Thank god for spell check. But now that I know your rat trick, I’ll never forget again!

  9. @elementsofmylife

    Oh god! Occasion is another one! In fact, I’m not even sure if I spelled it correctly in this comment.

    And agreed on the you’re/your their/they’re confusion. I know which is which, but sometimes when I’m typing quickly, those soundalikes lose their way from brain to fingers.

    Which leads me to MY personal pet peeve… when people don’t edit their blog posts. 🙂

  10. @elementsofmylife I am a big fan of mnemonic devices, but at times they’re a bit of a stretch. This is what I came up with:
    a Ceremony Celebrating a Special oCCaSion.

    @Laurie – You can thank my 8th grade Health Education teacher for that trick (totally random, but I’ve never forgotten it). Also, I hate blogs that obviously haven’t been proofread.

    Thanks for your comments!

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