Sunday, October 19, 2014

[Link] 10 Grammar Mistakes People Love To Correct (That Aren't Actually Wrong)

by Lauren Davis

Are you the sort of person who just loves correcting other people's grammar? Are you sure that you're doing it right? Some things that people have been taught are rules of English grammar are really not rules at all—and some of them are flat-out wrong.

There's actually a word for this phenomenon: hypercorrection. It's what happens when people learn that something that isn't a rule is a rule.

Now there are plenty of reasons for people to learn about proper English grammar; it can make you a more confident communicator and help you understand the way the language has evolved. But sometimes, when people correct other folks' grammar in a non-education, non-copyediting situation, they're not being helpful; they're asserting their perceived linguistic superiority. And while some who proudly wear the badge of "grammar Nazi" or "grammar police" see themselves as defenders of the language, they're not really enforcing grammatical rules; they're reinforcing personal peeves.

I am by no means a grammar expert; I just enjoy reading about grammar. These non-rules are backed up by various grammarians and linguists. You can also feel free to correct my grammar. I figure that if I write a post about grammar, karma dictates that it will contain no fewer than a dozen typographical and grammatical errors.

Read the rest of the article:

Editor's Note: I'm okay with all but two of these, and hate to see the editing standards change to reflect common usage in those two cases. "That vs. who" for personal pronouns, and "over vs. more than" for quantity. This is another nail in the coffin of usage that will on continue to get worse as we "adapt" to the point that we eventually start adding words from 'leet speak' as accepted usage for journalism. It's a sad day, and I can't believe the AP Style Guide has succumbed and fallen. Sigh.