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Grammar geeks

It is concerning to me that so many Americans haven’t an interest in using correct grammar and spelling. I notice it because I write. I’ll admit right up front that I don’t do well in the area of math, so it may be the left brain, right brain difference. Perhaps many have forgotten or never learned the differences in the English language. It could be that the information just didn’t stick. I can say the same about me and math in daily life math is not displayed as readily as spelling and grammar.

Yet in various occupations spelling matters. Cake decorators can come up with some wild concoctions. When a customer orders a cake and gives oral instructions it might be along these lines: “Write along the side, the name Brady.” When the lady returns to pick up the cake, there it is, in red frosting, “Along the side, the name Brady,” spelled out on the cake. Oh, yes, it happens. Since misunderstandings can occur so easily, I’ve a suggestion. The one ordering the cake should write out the message and hand it to the person taking the order. Include capital letters as needed and spell the words correctly, which will make the communication succinct. That would have prevented cake mistakes like this. “We are sorry you are living. You will be miss.” At least the message on that cake will not be soon forgotten.

Another job that “takes the cake” if the worker is a poor speller and that is a tattoo artist. Tats are pretty much permanent and if it’s spelled wrong everyone will remind you. Some I have seen are: “No Regerts,” (you want to bet this person will have no regrets?); “Streangth,” or as most would spell it, strength. “Stay strong no matter waht happens,” when “what” was the word the artist meant. Or “We Where Chosen,” though the intended word was “were” chosen. “Their is no better friends than a sister and their is no better sister than you.” Both of the word “their” should be spelled “there.” Spelling matters. Fortunately, our local tattoo artist not only does nice ink, she can also spell.



Then there is punctuation. Think of this sentence, “Let’s eat, Grandma” versus not using a comma and writing, “Let’s eat Grandma.”

The words “it’s” and “its” seem to baffle so many, even recent graduates of journalism programs. Perhaps it will help to think of it this way. “It’s” means it is. “Its”— think his, hers, and its. None of them need an apostrophe, even though they show possession. When you go to write the word ask yourself if you would use “it is,” then use it’s, the contraction.



“Whom” seems to throw people off too. It appears some folks use it to appear sophisticated and they commonly use it wrong.

I’ve noticed that most memes that are posted online have mistakes either in spelling, punctuation or both. Apparently, it’s a challenge for those who create memes. Keep them coming anyway. They are good for a laugh each time.

Peggy Sanders

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