Grammar Police Unite!

By: Chandler Owen

Living in a generation where it’s becoming appropriate to use abbreviations in almost all outlets of communication, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of poor grammar and misspellings.

Stay strong, friends! Don’t let the fad of incorrect grammar and spelling get to you. To help you avoid this wave of flawed language principles, here are the top five most common grammatical and spelling errors when writing:

  1. Your vs. You’re

C’mon guys, we learned this in secyoureond grade. Just think about what you’re trying to say in your writing.

“Your” is a possessive pronoun. Some examples are “your mom” or “your room.”

“You’re” is a contraction for “you are.” Example anyone? If you’re a Grammar Police, you’re the coolest.

  1. It’s vs. Its

This trips a lot of writers up. It’s a common mistake, but easy to avoid if you understand the grammar behind it.

“Its” is a possessive pronoun, while “it’s” is a contraction of “it is.”

Just repeat the sentence out loud using “it is” in replacement of “it’s.” If it doesn’t work, then “its” is probably the way to go.

  1. There vs. Their

Make sure to watch for this when you proofread! Do the “that’s ours!” test before making your decision. Use “their” if you’re talking about more than one person and something they possess.

“Their” is possessive. Their house! Their mom! Their computer! Their pencil! It’s theirs. All theirs. They own it.

“There” is a little more complicated because it’s used in many different ways. It’s used as a pronoun, like “there is no other way!” It can be used as a reference to a place, too. “Hey, let’s visit there.”

  1. Affect vs. Effect

This one gets me every once and while. You have to think through it before making the correct decision, like any other common grammar mistake. Here we go:

“Affect” is a verb. Example! “How much you spend at Taco Bell today will affect how much money is left for going to Shooter’s tomorrow.”

“Effect” is a noun. Another example! “The effect of lack of sleep on college students has been researched thoroughly.”

  1. Miscellaneous Errors

Here are a few common mistakes that get under my skin that should be avoided at all costs to prevent grammar police from having an aneurism.

-I couldn’t care less, not I could care less

– One and the same, not one in the same

– For all intents and purposes, not for all intensive purposes

Become a Grammar Police and avoid losing credibility by dodging these simple grammatical errors!


About ferrisprssa

We speak the truth with compassion. We embrace diversity in all forms. We are innovative, creative, upbeat and engaged. We are the Ferris State University PRSSA Chapter! Our student-run PR firm gives students outstanding hands-on experience and professional training.
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