You should of paid attention in English class

Oh, please...
Oh, please…

I will admit, I am guilty of the occasional grammatical error. These are my confessions: I tend to get really “comma-happy”, as my high school English teacher put it, when writing. I sometimes mess up “its” and “it’s” until Microsoft Word corrects it for me. And I won’t even deny that I still have to google when to use “whom” instead of “who.” I’m especially self-conscious right now that I’ll make a mistake of my own while I sit here and complain about the grammatical offenses of others that drive me nuts, but here it goes.

I think I start growing a few grey hairs whenever I see someone write “should of”, “could of”, etc. WHAT?! The contraction is “should’ve”, how could you even get “of” out of that? It is clearly should HAVE. “Of” isn’t a verb people! You can’t “of” something!

Now, this isn’t a common mistake that bothers me but a grammar “rule” we are supposed to abide by. Why the heck are you not allowed to end a sentence with preposition? Can we all just agree to ignore that? (Okay, we pretty much all already do.) Let’s be honest though, “To whom are you talking?” instead of “Who are you talking to?”? No one talks like that and you’d probably give someone a funny look if they did, because they’ll sound pretty pretentious. (Note: while proofreading I discovered the first sentence of this paragraph ends in a preposition. Oops. See my point?)

Ready? Unpopular opinion time. I hate the Oxford comma and I’m glad it’s optional — because I opt out! I just don’t like it how it looks and that’s really my only reasoning. The word “and” is enough for you to know that the series is coming to a close…that extra comma just seems so unnecessary. Now before you try to defend the importance of the comma in instances like the photo above, I know there is no way that by reading that sentence you actually imagined the second representation. Come on, we can use our own knowledge and context to know that there’s no way that’s what the sentence meant.

As for a component of grammar that I do like, I must say I appreciate the British spellings of some words. This might not be “grammar” exactly, but I kind of like the way they spell “colour” or “theatre.” (Now I’m laughing as this website is giving those two words the red underline! Silly American program…) However, I don’t actually ever use those spellings in my own writings — that’d probably make me a poser, right? — but my love of the Brits leaves me fond of these subtle lexical differences.

Lastly, my all-time favorite punctuation mark — the interrobang. AKA “?!” Using both a question mark and exclamation point displays a totally unique range of emotions that either mark alone could not otherwise convey. And let’s be honest, how cool does the word “interrobang” sound?

2 thoughts to “You should of paid attention in English class”

  1. Hi Ally!

    I had no idea that “?!” even had a name. I will add that to my list of favorite words. I also find myself enjoying the British spelling of things, especially grey vs. gray. The picture made me laugh out loud; great job!

  2. A couple of things:
    1. I can relate to being “comma happy”. That’s why I tend to avoid using commas in my own writing.
    2. I also hate how people try to use “of” as a verb…it’s on par with using “then” instead of “than”…THEY’RE DIFFERENT WORDS! COME ON, HUMANITY!
    3. I had never heard the term “interrobang” before now. What a weird, fun word for a weird, fun function.

    All in all, I love your grammar-rage. Isn’t it crazy how a subject that’s so boring to teach and learn is such a hot-button issue for some people?

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