What's the most annoying common grammar error, and why is it using apostrophes to pluralize words?

Moliphino

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Not using the letter 't'. When I hear someone, especially on TV, say 'ki en' or any word similar to that it's like hearing fingernails being scraped down a blackboard.
That's not a grammar error, though, just an accent difference.
I can say the Ts in kitten, mitten, etc. but it comes out sounding super forced and awkward to my ears.
 

MrsPete

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Apostrophe mistakes are, indeed, painful to read; however, I hate the non-existent word "alot" 1000x more. People don't say apizza or adog or abunch, so why, why, why do they think it's right to say alot?
 

Kanga and Roo

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
That's not a grammar error, though, just an accent difference.
I can say the Ts in kitten, mitten, etc. but it comes out sounding super forced and awkward to my ears.
The T's are not silent, they should be pronounced. I think it's more of an age thing than an accent difference.
 

BrianL

Doom Buggy Driver
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
The T's are not silent, they should be pronounced. I think it's more of an age thing than an accent difference.

It sounds like you are referring to a glottal stop, which surfaces in certain accents because it is commonly used in other languages. Many people who have this would pronounce a word like "kitten" with a consonant sound that can sound a little more like a "D" than a "T" and also a short pause between syllables. The sound is more like a puff or air. Interestingly, in the US, I notice it among people regardless of their regional accent and regardles sof if their parents do it or not, so I'm not sure how it originates.
 

Miffy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Back to the use of apostrophes for plurals. There are instances where this is appropriate:

(1) The plural of lowercase letters.
Example: There are no b's in this sentence.

(2) The plural of abbreviations with internal periods.
Example: She has several Ph.D.'s.

I think this may be the original source of the apostrophes-for-plurals confusion.

The mistake I see most often is "do's and don'ts." This is just carelessness, since if "do" takes an apostrophe (completely unnecessary), then "don't" should as well (don't's). However, the correct phrase is "dos and don'ts."

The thing that drives me the nuttiest is the incorrect conjugation of the verb go. For example: I have went.
OUCH!!!

I'm a professional copy editor and a mistake I see all the time is the improper use of "and I" instead of "and me." I think this started maybe 30 years ago when someone, somewhere decided that "and me" was always incorrect and if you were a hoity-toity person, you would always say "and I." This is everywhere.

Mistakes in posts and texts, though? Some of them are caused by the erroneously named autocorrect. I forgive them all.
 

Kennywood

Kennywood
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
A Missing Oxford Comma Just Changed the Course of a Court Case
by Erin Blakemore

Is a serial comma (Oxford comma) a critical tool for clear communication or unnecessary waste of space? Admit it: If you’re reading this, you probably have a strong opinion one way or the other. It turns out a United States Court of Appeals has opinions about Oxford commas, too. As Thu-Huong Ha reports for Quartz, a recent ruling handed down a victory for commas in court.

The trouble began when a group of dairy truck drivers sued their employer, Maine-based Oakhurst Dairy, for over $10 million in unpaid overtime. Their claim relied on a Maine law that exempts certain jobs from overtime pay.

That’s where the comma came in: Maine’s overtime statutes state that people involved in the canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of:

(1) Agricultural produce;
(2) Meat and fish products; and
(3) Perishable foods.
are exempt from overtime pay. The dairy argued that “packing for shipment” and “distribution” were two different jobs and that thus, overtime was inappropriate. But the drivers argued that “packing for shipment or distribution” is what was intended by the law—and that since they only deliver goods instead of packing them, they were owed money.

The case went all the way to an appeals court, which kicked the case back to the lower court due to the ambiguity introduced by the lack of a serial, or Oxford, comma. “For want of a comma, we have this case,” wrote Judge David J. Barron.

Despite the fact that Maine’s own legislative style guide discourages use of the serial comma, writes Ha, “the appeals court argues—and the style guide shows—[that] clarity is of the utmost importance when a list is ambiguous.” That’s the case with journalistic style guides for organizations like the AP and New York Times, too. They usually eschew the Oxford comma as part of a time-honored space-saving journalistic convention strategy—except where it prevents misreading.

The comma drama has raised eyebrows—and not just in Maine. New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist Jarvis DeBerry called it “the nerdiest dispute ever,” while CNN’s AJ Willingham dubbed it “supremely persnickety.” So what now? As Nick McCrea writes for the Bangor Daily News, “In effect, a federal court ruling was overturned because of a poorly written sentence and a missing comma.” The case is likely to return to court before being resolved, says McCrea—but for die-hard proponents of the Oxford comma or the lack thereof, it’s unlikely the standoff will ever end.

Source: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/missing-oxford-comma-just-changed-course-court-case-180962551/
 

Kennywood

Kennywood
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
For those who are fellow defenders of the English language, spelling, grammar, and punctuation, may I suggest you read & enjoy the following book:

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It's less than $10.00 on Amazon but offers a whole host of bloopers. Here are some examples:

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Boopuff

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
What drives me nuts: the misuse of I and me. My mom drilled into me: Joe and I are going out, because you'd say "I'm going out" you wouldn't say "me is going out" Just an easy check. I also hate prolly, irregardless (not a word!), a lot, your, you're etc.
 

Mysterian

Perfectly Impractical
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Improper use of an ampersand in place of "and".

"I'm a fan of Captain & Tennille. They're groovy & amazing!"
First usage is correct, the second is incorrect.

Texts and Tweets are exempt here, since one is informal and the other is limited.
 

JoanneAZ

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Apostrophe mistakes are, indeed, painful to read; however, I hate the non-existent word "alot" 1000x more. People don't say apizza or adog or abunch, so why, why, why do they think it's right to say alot?
I already posted it but here:

Have you heard of Hyperbole and a Half? They created an Alot drawing. You should check it out.



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