Before the Grammar Police Hunt You Down…

The Most Common and Insufferable Mistakes of English Writing

by Stephanie Huang (Contributor)

As you attempt, in the late hours of day, to finish that damn essay with squinty eyes and a drooping head, staring at the computer seems impossible without nearly falling asleep. The clock chimes the wee morning hours, and a pool of drool is already flooding your desk. At last, you struggle to write that blasted conclusion and add that very last period.

Then, you edit (also referred to as “clicking so that the red and green lines o-sokindly prompted by Word magically disappear”), not even sure what the hell you’ve miserably typed onto the pages. A thousand words on the screen as demanded by the supreme overlord of the class (more commonly known as “teacher”) should suffice for you to achieve a
passing mark.

When will people learn the inefficiency of their ways? As a proud and fervent grammar fanatic, I value the mastery of the art of the English language. So, when people believe that a couple of clicks of a mouse can make their flagrant mistakes just vanish…I cannot help but lose a little faith in humanity.

For example, how can one dreadfully confuse “their” and “there” just because their computer program did not detect it? Hear, look at how annoying it is. Even though the sounds herd are the same, right that in your CV and eye guarantee you won’t get haired.

And what can I say about those possessives? Is adding an apostrophe too difficult of a task? Or, even worse, why add random ones in the most uncalled-for places? Not everything belongs to everyone! In case you haven’t heard, we aren’t a communist country here; we are a constitutional DE-MO-CRA-CY. (You should probably learn to spell that too!) If you want to be the new Stalin, be my guest. However, I suggest you don’t go destroy another country’s economy and well-being, thank you very much.

Lastly, let’s award an honorable mention to all those useless commas you shove tastelessly into your essays. Texts, are, not, meant, to, be, read, like, this, just, so, you, know (note that autocorrect did not identify this as a mistake). People do not realize how vital punctuation becomes in the comprehension and cohesion of sentences. It actually gives the writer the ability to control the reader. Do you not wish to manipulate your teachers until they become mindless little minions? Trust me, all good evil-doers relish the thought. (Though, if you can’t spell, no one will take you seriously.) Besides, no one wants to be stuttering in their heads. The Grammar Police will surely call you crazy and condemn you for that too.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the easily avoidable idiocies that are dispersed within your scrambled writing. Just know that Microsoft Word, the Goebbels of the computer world, tricks you into believing its treacherous lies, making you believe that your texts are errorless. So please, use your brain, save yourself from the needless ridicule and just correct them.

IQ TEST: Did you find all the mistakes in the fourth paragraph? Clue: there are five of them. If you managed to, you passed the test! Welcome to the brotherhood of fervent correctors that cringe at the sight of crude mistakes such as these. Let’s all have a moment of silence for the unenlightened ones.

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