Adam, that’s the trouble with the “internet mentality”–that it’s ok to degrade our communication skills because it’s faster that way
Honestly, more trouble is taken to clear up misunderstandings that occur due to poor grammar/punctuation than is saved by shortcutting (read “sloppy writing”).
I agree with your point on parallelism, but not your example. That’s because the verb ‘bought’ could easily be used for the second item as well as the first – in which case it’s fine to leave it out of the paragraph list because the reader assumes it’s there, whereas you simply can’t do that with bullets.
When I received the article in a gmail message, the subject matter looked promising until I read the first line of the article which offered a catastrophic butchered display of the apostrophe which read “It’s time”
What a shame that the spirit of the article itself felt hollow to me when the rest of the text suffered from similar periodic spasms of unintended corrupted character display.
Has anyone pondered et cetera lately? I see etc. and ect. a lot and then too, some people overuse it in their content. I tell my clients that if one must etc., etc., etc., too much then they must not have anything better to say.
Also, I wonder why so many gurus think their work is so fine they don’t need an editor. There are several gurus whose products are great, but the obvious errors really bothers me when I the websites see it.
LOL at these fine examples of the most common mistakes in the English! Thank you for this most entertaining article that makes us our p’s and q’s right, not forgetting how to cross the t’s and dot the i’s. Take care.
on “then vs. than” You beat me to it. I know I see this at least once per day. I actually saw it today on Seth Godin’s blog of all places (and it’s only 5:30 in the morning). I know his was a mistake though, because he used it correctly in the very next sentence.
The ‘could care less’ issue
on “I couldn’t care less” Awesome. Can you make an entire website about this so we can change the world? I get so sick of this that I’ve just stopped trying to have the discussion that would correct people anymore.
Should have added the verb – MIND in the sentence to sound like thus: … article that makes us MIND our p’s and q’s correctly, not forgetting how to cross the t’s…
It’s not until I publish my entries, read over them again, until I realise my mistake. It’s somewhat annoying and embarrassing. It makes you appear horribly amateur.
You have no idea how good for my soul reading all this has been
My pet peeve is when people write it’s when they mean its. It’s is of course “it is” and its is the possessive case. Many people just don’t get it.
I totally agree with the style differences between academia and the blogosphere. That conversational, accessible tone is a big reason that people read blogs, I think. I just posted about it, actually, using copyblogger as an example over at
1. I still share your dislike of this but at least I have had it explained to me by an American. Apparently, it’s meant ironically, so that even though you’re saying ‘he could care less’ what you really mean is ‘he couldn’t care less’.
2. I notice a few people making the valid point that grammar is a casualty of the internet/texting age. We’re all inclined to seek excuses for bad grammar because people get very defensive when you correct them. it’s one thing to be called hopeless with numbers but pick them up on their literacy and you drive a dagger into their heart. Sometimes you wonder if you’re a pedant for doing so, especially when they argue that, as long as people know what they’re trying to say, what difference does it make? I rationalise the fight to save our language in two ways: first, in any Society that lets the small rules slip, the big rules will eventually follow. Second, if I was a mechanic and I caught you taking liberties with my toolkit, you’d expect me to have something to say about it. Well I’m a professional writer and the English language is my toolkit…