Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Editing for Grammarphobes: Drop the 'S,' Keep the 'D'


It seems to me many people write how they speak. However, they fail to realize that even if one is writing dialogue, the audience is still reading the work, not hearing it. Here are a few examples of words and phrases that are mispronounced or misused more often than not.


Supposed to

The “d” is supposed to be there. The word is not “suppose.”

Used to

Same holds for this phrase. It is not “use to.”

Toward

One moves toward something. There is no such word as “towards.”

Anyway

It is not “anyways.” I hear this all of the time. There is no “s” in anyway.



Coming Next

Please join us as we wrap up the Flash Fiction Fridays Free-for-All with a wonderful piece by Cleveland W. Gibson.

10 comments:

Beverly Diehl said...

All good ones, Karen!

Anyways [jk!], AnyWAY, my own pet peeve in contempo-speak is "I could care less." Actually, it's supposeD to be "I couldn't care less," because we are expressing that, were we to make a list of all the things about which we care, that thing would be at the very bottom of said list. Not at the top, as "I could care less" indicates.

Okay, now I've got that terrible burden off my chest, time to figure out what I can give up for October for Amber West's challenge.

Kelly Hashway said...

I love your posts because these are all things that really make my skin crawl. When I'm critiquing or editing and I see "towards" (which happens all the time) I cringe and delete that "s" as quickly as I can.

I have to agree with Beverly's comment too. If you say "I could care less" it means you COULD care less. The express (again like Beverly said) is "I COULDN'T care less."

I wish I could force everyone to read your grammar lessons, Karen. Can we do that?

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Yes, Beverly, I think there are many things I could care less about...LOL.

Kelly, you rock.

angel011 said...

Good post. English is not my first language, so posts like this are quite useful to me.

pauldail.com said...

In addition to writing, I'm also an English/Language Arts teacher, so you probably don't want to get me started. But I will say that "anyways" drives me crazy.

However, while I had heard the same about "towards" (I used to use it all the time-- see what I did there?), I did a little research and discovered that across the pond, it is actually acceptable to say "towards." Just not so much in this country.

Fun post. This is why we have editors (and perhaps more importantly, why more writers should be using them).


Paul D. Dail
www.pauldail.com- A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Great, angel011, I am glad I can help.

Paul, thanks for your comment. I did not know "towards" was okay to use abroad. That is interesting.

R. Doug Wicker said...

Now I'm leaning towards anywho.

Good article. I, too, hate when I hear/read this stuff.

Lenasledgeblog.com said...

Thanks for the grammar lesson. I am guilty of doing all of them at some point in blogginging. I usually won't find the mistake until after I have posted and it's time for a new post. But each time it makes me more aware of what to look for the next time.

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Thanks for your comments, R. Doug and Lena. :)

Leah Griffith said...

I've made all of the above mistakes and proably still do. I should tatoo this on my face;) Thank you!