Friday, August 19, 2005


The Phantom Professor has started an online writing course and I thought, "what the heck, I could do with a challenge" and joined in. (There are no exams or penalties for not doing the assignments, which appeals to me.)

There was a quiz and a discussion about common misuses of words, which got me thinking about some of my pet hates. There are the obvious ones, such as "should of" instead of "should have" or "should've", and then there are the ones that really get on my goat.

So here's my preliminary hate list -- just off the top of my head:

  • over instead of more than

  • less instead of fewer

  • your's instead of yours, etc (the latest issue of the Sydney Swans members' magazine is awash with apostrophe errors -- of both omission and commission. They need a proofreader! Badly... and that's another one for the list.)

  • badly instead of really

  • hopefully instead of I hope

  • orientated instead of oriented

  • dashes instead of colons or semicolons (if you have ever received an email from the Voice of Reason you will know what I mean)

  • commas instead of dashes

  • quotation marks for emphasis

  • commas before "and" instead of after

  • getting something "off" someone instead of "from" them

  • amongst instead of among (okay, it's not wrong, it's just old-fashioned)

  • I could go on...

    Please feel free to comment or list your own pet hates.


    beche-la-mer said...

    My friend just emailed me:

    "I have just read your latest blog.

    Im now badly scared to write to you - dashes and commas and exclamation marks included!!!!!!"

    Which reminds me, I forgot to include multiple exclamation marks on the list.

    Linda said...

    Lurve multiple exclamation marks - but only when it is me using them!!!!

    Absolute pet hate:

    compliment instead of complement

    And I read your list too quickly - can I assume its and it's used the wrong way were in there????

    beche-la-mer said...

    Chloe, I didn't specifically list its/it's but I do include all apostrophe abominations in my list -- and there are so many!

    More examples:
    anyhow instead of anyway
    alot instead of a lot
    and I really cringe at people going over things with a fine toothcomb. I brush my teeth, and prefer to use a fine-tooth comb for searching