Hi concerned readers! Today’s FFs will feature something a tad different. Instead of shaming various media for specific grammatical/spelling errors seen the previous week (as in all preceding 35 FF posts), the Grammar Cop is going to rant about another bunch of FFs.
I’m talking about Frequent Flaws in grammar by people who should know better. These are mistakes I’ve seen repeatedly while perusing all sorts of media.
Aside from that dreaded bogeyman, the it’s/its debacle, I see these infuriating products of confused minds all the time:
- infer/imply – “Infer” is what you do when you grasp what someone else is hinting at. “From your growling stomach, I infer that you’re hungry.” “Imply” is when you mean to say something without being direct about it. “She implied that she wanted me to go to the bakery, by telling me she was hungry.”
- lose/loose – “Lose” (weight) is what you do when you eat a lot less than before. “Loose” is how your clothes fit after you lose a ton of weight.
- advice/advise – “Advice” is what a weight-loss counsellor will give you if you weigh 700 pounds. “Advise” is what she will do: she will advise you to lose a ton of weight.
- lead/led – “Lead” is a verb meaning to take charge of a situation: “I lead this weight-loss class right now.” “Led” (note spelling change!) is the past tense of “lead”: “I led the weight-loss class last year.” (Note: yes, “lead” can also be a noun, for example, “lead” is that mineral which is very heavy…like you, before you lost a ton of weight!
- read/read – “Read” – present tense of what you do when you read a weight-loss article right now. “Read” – same spelling! – is what you did yesterday if you already read that weight-loss article, you clever thing you!
- you and I/you and me “You and I” go to the store to buy cake and ice cream. The baker gives the cake to “you and me.” See that? “You and I” is a phrase that is the subject of the verb “go.” But “you and me” is the object of the preposition, “to.” Anytime the “you and me” comes after a preposition, such as on, to, between, for, over, under, etc., it’s always “you and ME. It is NOT “you and I.” (Same goes for after a verb: He gave you and me the cake.) The ONLY time we say “You and I” is when it is the subject of the verb in the sentence: You and I are going to buy cake. You and I don’t know our grammar rules. You and I are leaving now. We’re hungry!
I advise you to have a great week!