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Posts Tagged ‘Spelling’

Dear Content Providers*:

To avoid annoying people who care about the English language (i.e., me), please learn how to use apostrophes, when to use “I” and when to use “me,” and what spelling of the word you need for your sentence.

Auntie Beth is here to help. Again.

 

1. Apostrophes

As I have explained before, apostrophes have two uses: to show possession (of things or people, but not by demons) and to show that a letter is missing (sometimes forming contractions).

What the older-looking Faddel (above) should have written is:

“19 years old, financially stable, in shape, family’s healthy.”

That would mean his family is healthy. Instead, he has pluralized “family” and rendered the sentence nonsensical.

To pluralize, you DO NOT use an apostrophe. Ever. (Please stop making me have to explain this.) Perhaps Tybee Island lifeguards are spending all their time training for beach emergencies and not worrying about punctuation, but I believe in clarity.

2. I vs. me

Here it is, one more time with feeling: Use “I” when you are referring to the subject of the sentence, “me” when you are referring to the object. The linguistics scholar above should have known better. She shouldn’t feel too awful though; even Lady Gaga gets it wrong:

3. Homonyms

Homonyms are words that sound alike but are spelled differently.

Trump is not the only one who has trouble with this if my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds are any indication. Please consider carefully which version of the word you need. I don’t want to have to keep going over this.

Thank you so much.

You’re (not “your”) a peach!
Beth

*By this I mean anyone who maintains a social media account, prepares signs, writes to someone else, etc.

Should be “teachers.”

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Dear loyal readers,

If you have been with me here for a while, you know that grammar and punctuation often are topics for posts. Many moons ago, I wrote a few posts about words I hate. I also wrote the antithesis post. Two, actually.

But I have a new list with a theme.

Always an anglophile, I’ve become even more obsessed with all things England after my recent trip. As you all know.

[Before you get your knickers in a twist (explanation below) about this obsession, just know that my fixations come and go, roughly lasting two weeks to a month (memory refreshers here, here and here). Bear with me; it’s almost over. Also, I’ve been bingeing “Game of Thrones.” Cut me some slack.]

Hence: British words I love (in alphabetical order, because I’m proper like that)

  • ace and, sometimes, aces (adjectives): excellent

Use it in a sentence, please: “That’s ace!” Trish said when her telephonophobic friend finally called her back instead of texting.

  • barmy and barking (adjectives): mad, crazy

Use it in a sentence, please: Eddie thought his wife had gone barmy for going out every weekend.

  • bollocks and bollocking (nouns): nonsense, verbal trash; trashing, telling off

Use it in a sentence, please: Si spent way too much time talking bollocks. Meanwhile, Clair gave Karl a royal bollocking for sleeping during the set. (In his defense, he did have to get up at 6 a.m.)

  • candyfloss (noun): cotton candy

Use it in a sentence, please: Her late grandmother’s hair was blue and spun into an orb like candyfloss at the circus.

  • caravan (noun): RV

Use it in a sentence, please: Hannah is contemplating a caravan rental for the music festival.

  • car park (noun): parking lot/garage

Use it in a sentence, please: Terry didn’t like to go to new places because he worried about finding adequate car parks.

  • cheeky (adjective): impertinent

Use it in a sentence, please: Gideon is becoming quite the cheeky monkey.

  • chuffed (adjective): pleased

Use it in a sentence, please: Hazel was chuffed to little mint balls.

  • dodgy (adjective): sketchy

Use it in a sentence, please: She fled to the ladies room to avoid the dodgy fellow at the bar.

  • faff (verb and noun): to waste time (v) or a time-waster (n)

Use it in a sentence, please: Dominic felt that any interaction with his family was a bit of a faff.

  • gutted (adjective): really upset

Use it in a sentence, please: Beth was gutted about what that asshole Ramsay Bolton did to Theon Greyjoy.

  • hoover (verb): vacuum

Use it in a sentence, please: She accidentally hoovered up the slip of paper on which she wrote an important email address.

  • jacket potato (noun): baked potato

Use it in a sentence, please: Do I really need to?

  • kit (noun): clothing

Use it in a sentence, please: “Come on then, get your kit off,” she had her hero say to the heroine in the sex book she was writing.

  • knackered (adjective): exhausted

Use it in a sentence, please: Cris was knackered Sunday morning after staying out so late the night before.

  • knickers (noun): panties (yes, I love this word too)

Use it in a sentence, please: I already did (see above). (Knickers in a twist = panties in a bunch)

  • pinched and nicked (verbs): stole

Use it in a sentence, please: René pinched some candy from the jar on Beth’s desk.

  • rogering (noun): sex

Use it in a sentence, please: Once the heroine had gotten her kit off, the hero gave her a good rogering.

  • rubbish (should be a noun, but Brits use it as an adjective): worthless

Use it in a sentence, please: I’m rubbish at this Twitter malarkey.

  • skip (noun): dumpster

Use it in a sentence, please: The teenager’s mother got so angry at him that she threw all his Xbox games in the skip.

  • shambolic (adjective): very disorganized, confused

Use it in a sentence, please: The shambolic mess of a woman straggled home after a night out way past her bedtime.

  • shirty (adjective): bad-tempered or aggressive

Use it in a sentence, please: Barry reminded his old girlfriend that the night of the first Tommy Stinson experience was also the night she got into a scrap at the front of the stage because some girl got shirty with her.

  • the tits (adjective): fantastic

Use it in a sentence, please: That shit is the tits.

  • wee (should be a verb, but Brits use it as a noun): pee

Use it in a sentence, please: I went for a wee,” the crazy American shouted to everyone within earshot at the club.

I have heard or read all of these in just the past month. I’ve used some of them. It’s made conversations more interesting.

(British friends, if I have got it all to cock, please make sure I’m sorted. I promise I won’t throw a wobbly.)

 

Side note: This was in the British aisle of my local international market. Pretty sure it should have been Marmite. (I was looking for mushy peas. No, they’re not gross. Shut up.)

Cheerio!
Beth

 

 

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Dear Erin,

Thanks for letting me know about Eddie’s online dating habits. I had no idea. He has always passed himself off as a man who cannot even remember his iTunes password or use the calendar on his phone, but yet he has been able to carry on a secret life. I can’t even be upset because I’m too shocked and impressed.

This is just the kind of information I need around Christmas time. I’ll be sure to pay close attention to receipts for odd purchases. I won’t automatically assume they are gifts for me.

Also, what is the “thruth?” Is that the official name for realizing the truth about thrush? And what does that have to do with Eddie? Oh WAIT … are you trying to tell me something about my health? Egad! I didn’t even know that was considered an STD!

Erin, you have helped me out so much. Thank you for your interest in my well-being and marriage.

You are a true friend.

With gratitude,
Beth

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Dear Mr. Rashid,

Thank you for your recent email, which appears to be a forwarded recommendation letter from Gregory T. Hagan. While I’m certainly happy Mr. Hagan was pleased with your services, it might behoove him to proofread his letter. As a writing professor and fan of the English language, I am mortified to see that the letter is one huge run-on sentence. Additionally, is “Hem” a person on your staff or is that your nickname? Or perhaps did Mr. Hagan mean “him” here? Why is his name misspelled in his email address, and why is it included at the end of the recommendation letter, making it look like that is the way to contact you?

If I had been asked to assist Mr. Hagan, I would have edited the letter to read as follows:

I am writing to recommend the services of Abdulla Rashid. I was in urgent need of a loan of $8,000 to pay my bills. A friend recommended Mr. Rashid, who helped me immediately. My family and I are now happy. Please contact him if you are in need of any kind of loan. 

I’m dismayed that you would use such a poorly written letter as the first contact with me. It really makes me wonder whether it would be wise to use your services when I have to question your attention to detail. And really, you should have written me yourself first, then provided his recommendation letter as a supplement.

Also, why is your organization offering loans in the first place? Your boilerplate indicates that you provide “innovative plastics solutions.” I see nothing on your website about loans and I see no Abdulla Rashid Salem Jumaan listed on the team biography page.

For these reasons, I must decline your implied offer to loan me money. Thank you anyway. Please send my regards to Mr. Hagan and encourage him to take an English composition course.

Sincerely,
Beth

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Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be.

— John Mellencamp

Dear Citizens of Ringgold, Georgia:

I am totally impressed with you. Small towns often get a bad rap — targeted as intolerant communities. And maybe some (many) are.

But you are showing via AMC’s new show, “Small Town Security,” that you are accepting of different kinds of people, including transgendered “lieutenant” Dennis Croft.

I admit I didn’t really see that coming in the first episode. I thought Croft might be gay, but the truth was more surprising and interesting. What’s more, Croft is in love with his married boss, Joan Koplan, otherwise known as “The Chief.” She owns JJK Security with her husband Irwin, who seems to be accepting of this situation and enjoys the meals Croft cooks for them on a regular basis. Fascinating. Truth really is stranger than fiction.

Croft (second from left), Koplan (center) and the cast of “Small Town Security”

And you, citizens of Ringgold, don’t appear to be fazed at all. At least, not according to Croft. Good for you!

You certainly aren’t like these punctuation- and spelling-challenged people:

(My favorite is “high fullutent.” Yes, I think they meant “highfaluting.” And I think I’m about 12 things on that list.)

Anyway, thanks for showing that “small town” doesn’t always mean “small-minded.”

Slack-jawed in awe,
Beth

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Dear Spammers:

I appreciate your attempts to make your comments on my blog look legitimate. However, I think it is time to hire someone who has a better command of the English language.

For example, Pace Express, I can’t imagine how my website “got here up.” And please don’t “clutch [my] RSS feed” or anything else.

Viagra online, I’m not sure what it means to “larn,” but I don’t think I want that either. I won’t mention the run-on sentence because I always try to be “user genial.”

And as for you, Olive Garden, your teacher needs more than “this tips.”

I know you, as spammers, have to do what you have to do. Please just try to use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation while you do it.

Thank you for your consideration.

Offering “clearness for [my] submit,”
Beth

* “Spam” is a portmanteau of those two words. Now you know.

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Dear Mitt,

I don’t like you. I’m sorry, but there it is. It isn’t your politics, though I do think you are a heartless, moneygrubbing scumbag who hates immigrants and women. (Or maybe that’s just an illusion created by the so-called liberal media. And your staff. And wife.)

As I’ve mentioned in my blog, it makes me sad that Republicans had four years to come up with a good candidate and you turned out to be the best they can offer. And that’s after beating out gems such as Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

But in addition to all the other reasons I have not to like you, I have one more: You can’t spell.

Look, you can blame your staff, or lack thereof. I know you are searching for a copywriter. It doesn’t matter to me. You want to be in charge, so you have to take responsibility for every part of your campaign — especially when you want to make education a big part of your platform.

Just so you know, I’m not happy with Obama either. He’s had spelling errors too. But at least he doesn’t remind me of a used-car salesman. (And he treats his dog better.)

Able to spell and vote,
Beth

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