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Topic: A pet peeve revealing how anal I am
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Sep 27, 2001 08:02PM)
I've noticed the rampant misuse, even among those who claim to be writers, of the word "your," on this forum and everywhere else (both on the net and in "real" magazines and books). "Your" means "belonging to you," as in, "That is your opinion."

However, it is almost constantly being misused to mean "you are," as in, "Tell me if your going to buy it." The correct spelling here is the contraction, "you're," which is, of course, short for "you are." An occasional typo is one thing, but, particularly for those of us who claim to be writers/authors, constant grammatical offenses like this should be avoided and shunned.

Thus endeth the lesson.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Sep 27, 2001 10:10PM)
Iím anal right behind you. :wow:

Oops! :rotf: Didnít mean it that way.

There are several classic Jr. High School gramatical issues that arise on the Net. I find it unbelievable but must allow for thoughts to get through without judging the grammar too heavily.

There are several different reasons for such misuse of the language. Not all are laziness.

Message: Posted by: John Zander (Sep 27, 2001 10:32PM)
Your kidding me!


I am guilty of this constantly. But somehow I still sleep at night :P

It is one of those things that I try like heck to remember, but just canít..... or is it, just cannot? ;)

Question: "Did you go to school... stupid!

Answer: "Yes, and I came out the same way!"

100 bonus points for the source of that line???


Thank you,

John Zander


The Award Winning Comedy

Magic of John Zander



Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Sep 27, 2001 10:42PM)
Abbott and Costello? The 3 stooges?
Message: Posted by: RayBanks (Sep 28, 2001 06:03AM)
I vote for the three stooges
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Sep 28, 2001 08:18AM)
Or could it be a vent. line ;)
Message: Posted by: John Zander (Sep 28, 2001 12:20PM)
50 points for Scott! Only 50 because you took two guesses ;)

Abbott and Costello
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Sep 28, 2001 02:30PM)
Alright you guys, now you're all being silly!

:dance: :snail: :dance:
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Sep 29, 2001 11:08AM)
"Alright you guys, now you're all being silly!"

114 bonus points for the original source of this line.

Hint: It's not Steve :rotf:

Tom Cutts
Message: Posted by: lesterkirad (Mar 22, 2002 12:04PM)
I guess I am classified as anal too. Try looking at how many times people say ATM machine (ATM stands for 'automated teller machine' for those who don't know). How about 'PIN number'? I have even seen ATM's that say "enter your PIN number". Even more anal of me: hot water heater, SAT test, VIN number.
Message: Posted by: Rob Wallis (Mar 22, 2002 09:25PM)
How about "shopaholic"? It obviously is based on alcoholic, from the word alcohol. So how does -holic fit in with shopping?
Message: Posted by: Joshua Quinn (Mar 23, 2002 02:07PM)
On 2002-03-22 13:04, lesterkirad wrote:
Try looking at how many times people say ATM machine[/quote]

AAAHHHH!!!! That drives me batty too!

Two more items from the Department of Redundancy Department: UPC code and DAT tape. Any others we're missing?

And yes, the your/you're thing makes my teeth hurt as well.

Message: Posted by: Burt Yaroch (Mar 23, 2002 10:31PM)
How about their, there, and they're? You see those get monkeyed up quite a bit.

But the one that really gets my goat:


You realize that ain't even a word.

(At least "ain't" is in the dictionary :bwink: )
Message: Posted by: Mya Angel (Mar 24, 2002 12:02AM)
:lol: That ain't nutin, how bout, how r u doin?
:wavey: bee c'n u. :cuteangel:
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Mar 24, 2002 02:45AM)
My personal pet peeve that everybody always thinks I'm crazy about (and which I've posted at that other magic board I moderate at: :huh: is people who use "that" when they mean "who". For example, in that last sentence, they would have said, "People [i]that[/i] use...." Argh! It could be "Dogs that", "boxes that", but it's "people who"!!!!

That, and when you use a dash--like this--you should use two hyphens if you can't use an actual dash, and no spaces around it. If I had a dime for every time I saw it done wrong - like this - or even -- gasp -- like this...
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Mar 24, 2002 11:19AM)
I agree with many of the posts, but do you all realize that language, and its rules, are fluid. The rules of language change from generation to generation due to overuse of any broken rule. That's why "ain't" is in the dictionary. Some of the things you have a pet peeve about now will eventually become a standard.
Remember, don't sweat the small stuff and it's all small stuff.
Message: Posted by: spfranz (Mar 24, 2002 01:11PM)
I agree to a certain extent Greg, but let me share a quote from an e-mail from a 13 year old - "i am going 2 send some1 i am going 2 write 1 2 ----- and rite after i am going 2 write them"

Welcome to the future of the English language.

Message: Posted by: lesterkirad (Mar 24, 2002 04:35PM)
It really gets me when people say things like..."lol" or "brb" in talking in person.
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Mar 24, 2002 08:56PM)
On 2002-03-24 14:11, spfranz wrote:
I agree to a certain extent Greg, but let me share a quote from an e-mail from a 13 year old - "i am going 2 send some1 i am going 2 write 1 2 ----- and rite after i am going 2 write them"

Scott, on that one, blame Prince. But I'm sure things of that nature might become more common... sorry to give you the bad news. You realize at one point there will be a generation that will not be able to look at a regular clock and tell the time because they will be use to digital... no more hands to move with your powers. Language will change and we will feel it is wrong, but it will change.

Message: Posted by: Burt Yaroch (Mar 25, 2002 12:41AM)
On 2002-03-24 12:19, Greg Arce wrote:
I agree with many of the posts, but do you all realize that language, and its rules, are fluid.

I wish my seventh grade English teacher had known that.
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Mar 25, 2002 12:56AM)
Not entirely true, Greg. Dictionaries don't reflect proper grammar, they reflect common usage. If you read an actual grammar book, it makes it quite clear that just because something's in the dictionary doesn't mean it's correct, it just means that enough people use it that it was deemed necessary to define it in the dictionary. Common usage and actual correctness aren't the same. Just because most folks drive 85 mph on I-95 doesn't make it legal; this is kinda the same thing (except that, unfortunately some might argue, you can't be fined or jailed for misusing the English language).
Message: Posted by: Burt Yaroch (Mar 25, 2002 01:21AM)
That's what I [i]wanted[/i] to say but I knew Andy would be along directly. :bwink:

I agree with Mr. Gladwin.

(That joke will tire for me eventually Andy :goof: . Although that goat thing is still alive and kickin'.)
Message: Posted by: Joshua Quinn (Mar 25, 2002 03:18AM)
For those who are really into this sort of thing, David Foster Wallace had an interesting article about linguistic descriptivism vs. prescriptivism in the April 2001 issue of Harper's magazine, which has been reprinted here:


It manages to be humorous while probing pretty deeply into the socio-political implications and ramifications of the rules of grammar, or as the author puts it, "the seamy underbelly of U.S. lexicography." Be forewarned, it is a long piece. (For those unfamiliar with Wallace, he's the author of [i]Infinite Jest[/i], a novel which I haven't read but have seen described as "700 pages of impenetrable anti-prose.") But if you're still following this thread by this point, you might be enough of a grammar worm to find the article worth your while.

Message: Posted by: Joshua Quinn (Mar 25, 2002 03:50AM)
On 2002-03-24 21:56, Greg Arce wrote:
On 2002-03-24 14:11, spfranz wrote:
I agree to a certain extent Greg, but let me share a quote from an e-mail from a 13 year old - "i am going 2 send some1 i am going 2 write 1 2 ----- and rite after i am going 2 write them"[/quote]

Scott, on that one, blame Prince.

Two flaws with that theory:

1) Prince at least spells "right" correctly.

2) Prince is no longer popular enough to be influential among 13-year-olds. If you were talking about those of us who were 13 when Purple Rain came out, then you'd have a case.

( :dance: <<< the dance break during "I Would Die 4 U")

I think the blame, if it's to be called that, lies more with chat rooms, instant messaging, and other speed-intensive, character-based forms of communication than with the Diminutive Funk Deity of Minneapolis. But don't worry, the day is coming when voice-to-text capabilities will make typing essentially obsolete, and character-conserving displays like "sum1 2 rite 2" will look as technologically and culturally dated as 5" floppy disks and Beta VCRs look to us today.

Message: Posted by: Rebus (Mar 25, 2002 06:27AM)
It just shows you how difficult it is (if not native to an english speaking country) to be able to speak the language. Just imagine all the isms and wasms and he's and her's others must learn to grasp such a complicated language, and it is a complicated language. This becomes sad when the indigenous population begin to speak their own language incorrectly. A little pet hate I have is just the lazy way in which people speak generally, such as "particly" instead of "particularly". It is a shame to see such a language as English beginning to 'hit the fan'. I'm from the UK and from a particular region of the UK, ie Ulster, where the people speak in a such a way as to make one physically grimace. An example of which is, "bout ye?" which translates into the 'Queen's English' as "how are you". Incidently, there is a whole worldly webbed site dedicated to this use of english, called "High Till Speek Norn Iron" at:


What we need in schools, in english class is not only how to understand Shakespeare's use of language in a 16th century text but also how to effectively use our present language now. This laziness has been vastly compounded with the introduction of the internet and also text messages. In fact companies related to these services are actively encouraging the use, or misuse of this type of language. A major phone company's slogan now in Britain is "how r u" which in my opinion is worse than "bout ye".

By the way, hi everyone!
Btw, lo all!
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Mar 25, 2002 06:35AM)
One school of thought argues that it doesn't matter how you say something, as long as the other person understands you.
But there's a problem with that argument.
The only way that you can be sure -- SURE -- that someone else understands you is if you are both using the same rules.
If I say, "I will be there momentarily," you may think I mean that I will be there in a short time, when I actually mean I will be there FOR a short time (the correct usage).
The bottom line, which we used in the newspaper business for years, was:
Be correct in the small things that your readers already know. If you aren't, then why should they trust you when you tell them something they don't know?
Using the language correctly is actually faster than not doing it, because you don't have to explain yourself a couple of times.
As a fellow editor pointed out years ago, "Treat the English language with respect; it's the only thing that separates us from the photographers!" :lol:
Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Mar 25, 2002 09:37AM)
Your rite. We should all bee more careful about the use of are language. Irregardless of the growing propensity to misspell and abbreviate, they're is know good excuse for this. People that do this r probably just more concerned with trying to save time then be clear -- they probably r the type of person that creates short PIN numbers for use in there ATM machines 2 save time.

Luckily, I ain't one of these people.

Scott ;)

(NOTICE: To all who read the above--IT WAS JUST A JOKE!) :lol:

Though I must admit, using the term 'anal' to decribe one's personality is a pet peeve of mine. :)
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Mar 25, 2002 10:06AM)
For the past 15 years or so, I have written a syndicated weekly newspaper column.
A few weeks back, I did a piece on my 15th anniversary at one paper.
Some here might get a chuckle out of part of it (of course, some may NOT, too!)
So here is part of that column:

Marucciís Rules of How to Rite Rite so it Ainít Rit Rotten:

1: Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

2: Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3: Parentheses (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.

4: Donít use no double negatives.

5: Be more or less specific.

6: And donít start a sentence with a conjunction.

7: It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

8: Avoid clichťs like the plague. (Theyíre old hat.)

9: Comparisons are as bad as clichťs.

10: Always avoid annoying alliteration.

11: Also, too, never ever use repetitive redundancies.

12: Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

13: You should never generalize.

14: Do not be redundant and use more words than necessary because itís highly superfluous.

15: Never use a big word when a diminutive expression will suffice.

16: Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

17: Donít exaggerate; not one writer in a million can do it correctly.

18: The passive voice is to be shunned.

19: No partial sentences.

20: One-word sentences? Eliminate.

So there you have it; a score of rules that made me what I am today. (Well, I have to blame it on something!)

Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com :smoke:
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Mar 25, 2002 10:31AM)
Peter, that's hysterical! My last comment has to be that, although, I agree with a lot of what has been said, but I still feel that it's a trivial thing to worry about. Life is too short to be spent on such things... at least for me. I know that people will use "irregardless" & destroy the rules of grammar & past vice-presidents will add and E to potato... but I will sleep at night and try not to let it bother me. Just my opinion.
Message: Posted by: Burt Yaroch (Mar 25, 2002 11:15AM)
:rotf: :rotf:
Too funny Peter. Brava! (Or should that be masculine? What is that, French?)

Nice mantra Greg. I think most of us are right there with you, not losing any sleep.

But I also don't think the subject should be so easily dismissed. How we speak is a reflection on our character and our professionalism. That's not to say we all won't make mistakes in grammar and usage from time to time.
Message: Posted by: Jim Morton (Mar 25, 2002 01:11PM)
How about "shopaholic"? It obviously is based on alcoholic, from the word alcohol. So how does -holic fit in with shopping?

Spend an afternoon with my ex-girlfiend, and you'll understand the word "shopaholic" completely.

As for grammar, my teeth still grind when I hear people use "begs the question" as a replacement for "raises the question." Sadly, thanks to the pervasiveness of this sort of sloppy usage, this phrase has effectively lost its original meaning entirely (i.e., to use as proof the thing that you are attempting to prove).

Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Mar 25, 2002 03:01PM)
Yak writes: "How we speak is a reflection on our character and our professionalism."


Houdini, who was self-educated, told Kellar at one point, that he (Houdini) considered it a privilege to have someone versed in the language correct him.

And Houdini didn't take to being corrected lightly!

But, in the case of the language, he knew how important it was, in addressing an audience, to be the consummate professional.

Do what you will in private, but when performing, the language is as much one of your tools as a deck of cards.

You wouldn't use a battered, soiled, worn-out deck of cards, would you?

So why do that with the language?

Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: Rebus (Mar 25, 2002 03:02PM)
I agree, really dwelling on this could be considered a waste of time by some as there are more important things in life such as paying the bills, feeding the kids, and discovering what the heck Twin Peaks was really all about. However one thing that does bug me when having a discussion with someone is this:

Many people find it difficult to have a conversation on a subject, instead they feel they must have a 'point-system' of presentation of argument or opinion. In other words, they say things like, "Firstly I would like to point out that the flag was flapping in the wind on the moon and so Neil Armstrong could not have really gone to this lunar landscape" ...then they randomly talk about that without including a "secondly". This is especially irritating when reading an essay done by a candidate as it shows an ill prepared approach to a subject. Another example of this is when a person will say, "There are a number of points that I will be considering on this subject however I will be firstly discussing my first point which can be made presently before continuing with my other points on this subject presently". Okay so that's a slightly exaggerated example but you know what I mean. Someone who could argue something very effectively if they stopped and revised what was said/wrote just end up looking a bit of a twit.

Btw I do believe man landed on the moon in 1969...
Message: Posted by: Rebus (Mar 25, 2002 03:05PM)
I have noticed however that since this topic was raised, more abbreviation than ever has been used...just an observation :)
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Mar 25, 2002 03:08PM)
On 2002-03-25 12:15, yakandjak wrote:
:rotf: :rotf:
Too funny Peter. Brava! (Or should that be masculine? What is that, French?)

Nice mantra Greg. I think most of us are right there with you, not losing any sleep.

But I also don't think the subject should be so easily dismissed. How we speak is a reflection on our character and our professionalism. That's not to say we all won't make mistakes in grammar and usage from time to time.

I agree with you. I do try to make an effort to obey the rules, but I just feel that sometimes people (present company excluded) worry too much about the minor details and skip the big picture. Let me relate it to magic.

After David Blaine hit the scene I had countless non-magicians come up to me and marvel at this man's gifts... not one said, "What's with the street lingo? Is the only thing he can say is 'Do ya wanna see sumptin'?" No one seemed to care that he sounded partially illiterate... some would say "completely".

Why do I bring it up? Because I had many magicians talking to me that were fuming because this "no talent" had a show. Most of these same magicians are the ones I know that never perform before an audience because they are waiting to perfect every single routine and work on every single line of patter... of course, there is nothing perfect in life so they will continue to practice in front of their friend the mirror, and never try "sumptin" in front of a living human being because they want it to be perfect... and, of course, they will continue to criticize others.

I don't mean to come down on the magic community. Remember, I also am an actor, writer, stand up comic and filmmaker... in all those fields I find the same type of individual -- never completing a piece of work, but attacking those that do.

If I've offended anyone on this board with this diatribe, I am sorry. I am not pointing any fingers here because I do not know you. I only speak of personal experiences and people in my circle. If anything, I have found the posters on this board to be fair and willing to hear all sides... I can't say the same thing for the boards I habitate that deal with writing and filmmaking. Keep up the friendly banter.
As always, this has just been my opinion.
Greg Arce
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Mar 25, 2002 04:47PM)
Well, Greg, my first point is . . . oops, sorry about that! :lol:
Point well made. If you wait for perfection, you'll simply never get anything done.
In my Houdini reference, his originally poor grammar didn't stop him from performing.
But, MORE IMPORTANTLY, it didn't stop him from learning and improving, either!
The points I have made here (oops, there I go again! :lol: ) are my opinions.
Yours may (and, probably, do) differ.
That's fine.
Just one final point (eek! there he goes again! :lol: ): It can be all right to break the rules; but, to do that, you have to KNOW the rules in the first place.
Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Mar 26, 2002 09:57AM)
In truth you are very Anal! Now you know why I do a silent act!

To all of you posters who do not use English as your first or native language, keep on posting. I want to read what you have to say, your ideas, your critique, and your dreams.
Message: Posted by: Burt Yaroch (Mar 26, 2002 02:18PM)
I agree MP. I'm sure this discussion isn't directed an those folks. They are already more professional than most in learning an entirely different language. And alot of those non-native speakers do a better job than some native speakers.
Message: Posted by: maurile (Mar 26, 2002 06:55PM)
A lot of the "rules" of grammar taught by tenth grade English teachers aren't really rules at all. For instance:

[b]Split infinitives:[/b]

[i]Webster's Dictionary of English Usage[/i] advises that "awkward avoidance of the split infinitive has produced more bad writing than use of it. . . . The upshot is that you can split them when you need to."

Some examples from writers who don't suck:

"But I would come back to where it pleased me to live; to really live." -- Earnest Hemingway, [i]Green Hills of Africa[/i], 1935.

"And then when the time came to really bury the silver, it was too late." -- [i]The Collected Stories of William Faulkner[/i], 1950.

There are many further examples from Browning, Twain, Kipling, etc.

[b]Prepositions at the end:[/b]

According to [i]Webster's Dictionary of English Usage[/i], "recent commentators -- at least since Fowler 1926 -- are unanimous in their rejection of the notion that ending a sentence with a preposition is an error or an offense against propriety."

Some examples from writers who don't suck:

"Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with."
-- William Shakespeare, [i]Macbeth[/i], 1606.

"I know what you are thinking of." -- Jane Austen, [i]Mansfield Park[/i], 1814.

"The University is one most people have heard of." -- Robert Frost, letter, 20 Jan. 1936.

"He had enough money to settle down on." -- James Joyce, [i]Dubliners[/i], 1914.

Back to [i]Webster's Dictionary of English Usage[/i]: "The preposition at the end has always been an idiomatic feature of English. It would be pointless to worry about the few who believe it is a mistake."
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Mar 27, 2002 10:32PM)
Maurile writes: "A lot of the 'rules' of grammar taught by tenth grade English teachers aren't really rules at all."

And a lot of them are.

That's why you HAVE to know them, to differentiate.

The split infinitive, for example, is based on Latin, in which the infinitive cannot be split because it is one word. Two centuries ago, this was carried over into the English language, even though English infinitives are two words.

And, for every example of a broken rule by a good writer that you give, I can give you a thousand examples by bad writers.

That sort of anecdotal example proves nothing, other than the fact that the writer has some information available.

Bottom line: If rules in language were NOT necessary, this thread would not exist! :bg:

Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: Mike Robbins (Mar 28, 2002 10:13PM)
My pet peeve is when magicians spell "sleight" as "slight". I suppose "Slight of Hand" means you're giving someone the finger.

Mike :bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: Rodan (Mar 29, 2002 05:17AM)
G'Day, mates.
Well way downunder here in Orstraya we Aussies (pronounced ozzies not ossies, as in mossies or mosquitos)have to put up with the Poms speakin "va Queens English" and the Yanks saying the shoe fit instead of fitted.
But then we talk Strine (Australian). My chinaplate (mate)was swimming when he saw a noahs ark (shark).
Y'all have your own variations on the theme.
Yes it can be confusing and frustrating and going way back to the beginning of this thread I agree with Scott's Anality(!!!) regarding the usage of your instead of you're.
My other despised laziness is saying something like "he would of done it" instead of "he would have done it".
However, it's obvious, that what we call the English language is in constant flux. I guess it's really umpteen (isn't that a wonderful word?)different languages at the same time.
It is incorporating new words as well as foreign words at an incredible rate. Obviously other languages are doing the same.
Grammar is confusing, particularly for someone new to the language.
I hope I don't upset anyone with my cheek at the beginning of this rave.
Great thread.

;) ;)
Message: Posted by: Burt Yaroch (Mar 29, 2002 12:25PM)
Here's one that isn't quite a pet peeve but just rather astonishing that I have NEVER hear anyone pronounce this word correctly (which lends itself nicely to the arguement that which is correct, the dictionary or the most comon usage?). Ready?


Now there are two definitions of this word. I am referring to the more commonly used, non-musical connotation of something in which a person excels.

The proper pronunciation is Fort.

Now for those who didn't know there was a difference in the pronunciation of the two definitions, they often pronounce both the same as FOR-tay with the accent on the first syllable, not the second.

However I'm sure everyone here pronounced it the way we have always heard it as For-TAY, which is incorrect in every dictionary I have ever consulted including my newest published in 1998.

Just in case you had any thoughts of attempting to use the correct pronunciation don't. You'll sound like an idiot. BUT...in correcting your friends this little tidbit will surely win you many a beer.

Second in this catagory of beer generating bar bets only to this:

(You can do this seated but give youself a little leg room.) Ready?

Strike the Heisman Trophy pose.

Are you sure that's it? You're sure? Alright. See for yourself.


I'll take a Guinness please.
:stout: :lol: (I used to carry a photo of the trophy in my wallet for instant payup!)

Alright, I'm gonna go find a job.
Message: Posted by: maurile (Mar 29, 2002 09:34PM)
Ooh, that's interesting (regarding the pronunciation of "forte").

Here's a usage note from [url=http://www.m-w.com]Merriam-Webster's[/url]:

In [i]forte[/i] we have a word derived from French that has no entirely satisfactory pronunciation. Usage writers have denigrated [b]FOR-TAY[/b] and [b]FOR-TEE[/b] because they reflect the influence of the Italian-derived [i]forte[/i] (used in musical notation). Their recommended pronunciation [b]FORT[/b], however, does not exactly reflect French either: the French would write the word [i]le fort[/i] and would rhyme it with English [i]for[/i]. So you can take your choice, knowing that someone somewhere will dislike whichever variant you choose. All are standard, however.
Message: Posted by: Dr. TORA (Apr 1, 2002 02:23PM)
Hi friends, I know that it is so funny for a non-native speaker to contribute to this discussion. Nevertheless,I do not think that I have the right to critisize people making mistakes. On the other hand I had my education after the secondary school all in English. Probably we have had the maths and science lessons from the same books. For thiĢs reason I take extreme care of not making so many mistakes. But this is not what I wanted to say... I have been a journalist in my country for along time and I could observe that the decline in the correct usage of the language is common among all the languages. Most probably the internet culture (mainly chatting) had accelerated this. For the sake of less touches to keyboard, made many deliberate mistakes justified (for me never !!!). What we have to do is to rsist as far as it goes against this misusage and misspelling.
Sorry for my courage for a subject which is not belonging to me, whereas I need further assisstance for correct usage. Please forgive my comment on the subject.
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Apr 1, 2002 04:14PM)
I think also that this has a lot to do with people (like me) who are not that good at grammar and spelling using the Internet and having to comunicate in writing. I have an aptitude for maths and science but not for grammar and spelling. normaly I would use a spell/grammar check (not available here) and for important communications have them checked by my wife.
Message: Posted by: maurile (Apr 3, 2002 05:31PM)
[quote]Maurile Tremblay wrote:
A lot of the 'rules' of grammar taught by tenth grade English teachers aren't really rules at all.[/quote]

[quote]Peter Marucci wrote:
And a lot of them are.

That's why you HAVE to know them, to differentiate.[/quote]

Quite so. Here's an essay by Richard Lederer you may enjoy: [url=http://pw1.netcom.com/~rlederer/arcartcl.htm#ann]link[/url].
Message: Posted by: maurile (Apr 3, 2002 06:05PM)
Peter Marucci wrote:
The split infinitive, for example, is based on Latin, in which the infinitive cannot be split because it is one word.[/quote]

I just found out that the whole [i]American Heritage Book of English Usage[/i] is online. Here's the entry for split infinitives: [url=http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/059.html]link[/url].

Bartelby.com has all kinds of great stuff. Check out all the [url=http://www.bartleby.com/reference/]references[/url] it allows you to search. I can't believe it's free!
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Apr 3, 2002 06:20PM)
Yes, sort of what I said -- but not so succinct! :rotf:
Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Apr 3, 2002 06:50PM)
Yes, "forte" is a good example, as is "irregardless."

Allow me to give an example of an incident where I was taken to task by a "professional writer." In one of my books, I instruct the reader to "iterate" was has happened to that point. This fellow insisted that I had made a moronic error, and he claimed to be just the fellow to correct me, as he was a professor of English at a very prestigious university. He insisted that I should have used the word "reiterate," and that "iterate" isn't even a word.

Of course, he was completely wrong! You can't "reiterate" until AFTER you "iterate!" Grab your dictionaries, my friends, and see firsthand that I was, in fact, absolutely correct.

Thank you all for your participation in this topic.