After my post on grammar pet peeves, Bob Robinson e-mails:
Bad grammar is such an issue with me that I irritate my wife by yelling at people on TV! Here are just a few of the things that annoy the hell out of me:
- Any commercial or person that says “x times (more, less, faster, etc)”, when the proper phrase is “x times as”: The new Tide is 3 times more concentrated than the leading competitor”. So, is the new Tide 4 times as concentrated, or only 3 times as concentrated. This could be the basis of a lawsuit for false advertising.
- Anyone who says they are “more” anything when they should simply be using a word ending in “er”, as in happier, sadder, faster, etc.
- News anchors who say “Next, our story about…”, and then proceed to tell us the story. I’m sorry, but that’s not “next”, it’s NOW.
Stuart Snyder adds five more:
- Those who say, “I could care less” actually mean “I couldn’t care less.”
- Though “irregardless” is a word found in some dictionaries, it’s not a proper word. Use “regardless” instead.
- An apostrophe is never used to form a plural.
- “It’s” is short for “it is.” “Its” means “belonging to it.”
- “Loose” and “lose” are two different words.
We need remedial classes in possessive vs. plural, as the misuse of the apostrophe has become more prevalent. Yesterday, I saw supermarket signs reading “Banana’s on sale!” and “Order your Thanksgiving turkey’s now!”