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7 Grammar Blunders to Avoid

Categories: Brian Klems' The Writer's Dig, How to Improve Writing Skills Tags: a lot, affect, alot, effect, fewer, grammar, lead, led, less, sneaked, snuck, who, whom.

Grammar RulesNothing is worse than getting in the first edition of our new issue, opening it up and finding a giant grammar mistake plain as day. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does it blows my mind. “How did that happen? We read the issue 5 times each, hired an extra copy editor and even used the Microsoft WORD’s spell check (which never misses a mistake, right?).”

OK, so even editors are human (shocking) and can miss something every once in a while. But it’s the editor (and writer) who strives for grammatical perfection who has a leg up on everyone else.

Today I thought I’d share the 7 top grammar blunders that seem to trip up a lot of people. Bookmark these if you need to. And if you already know the rules by heart, don’t hesitate to e-mail this to your friend who’s always driving you crazy by using “alot” when it doesn’t exist:

Who vs. Whom
Affect vs. Effect
Fewer vs. Less
Sneaked vs. Snuck
Lay vs. Lie
“Alot” vs. “A lot”
Lead vs. Lead vs. Led

What grammar pet peeves do you have? Leave it in the comments section so others can learn from your wisdom.

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7 Responses to 7 Grammar Blunders to Avoid

  1. Staci Troilo says:

    That list could go on forever. there/their/they’re; your/you’re; its/it’s; then/than; lay/lie/lain; spit/spat; effect/affect… If we rely on Word to catch our mistakes, were in trouble. I’m sorry, WE’RE in trouble. (Word wouldn’t catch that, either.)

  2. lhurlburt says:

    The first sentence of paragraph two uses “awhile” (which means for a short time, as in, “let’s sit awhile”). Shouldn’t it be “a while” (meaning a period of time)? As well, shouldn’t the next sentence read, “But it’s the editor (and writer) WHO strives for grammatical perfection WHO has a leg up on everyone else”?

  3. kelleymdo says:

    The one that always makes me crazy is Your vs. You’re!

  4. Laura says:

    Your article blew MY mind! “Nothing is worse THEN…” in the very first sentence??? Maybe you should have included “Then vs. Than”.

    I would also have liked to see “Their vs. There vs. They’re”.

    • Ha! Thanks for the heads up. I certainly know the difference, just an early morning typo. Have to get used to this daily blogging.
      BK

    • TPB says:

      The author was correct in using the word “than” in the opening sentence. He is making a comparison, “Nothing is worse than…a giant grammar mistake plain as day.” You use “then” to express time.

      • kpwee1 says:

        TPB, if you read the context of their conversation, you’ll realize that the author orginally typed “then” but then changed it to the correcct “than” afterward. Since this is a blog, it’s easy to fix those errors. =)

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