Please join me in a moment of silence for the English language…

Please join me in a moment of silence for the English language.

I’m not sure when this started, but it does seem like I’m seeing more and more grammatical errors, malapropisms and just plain misuse of certain words in correspondence and conversation. Even with supposably (supposedly) well-educated individuals, its (it’s) getting worst (worse) then (than) ever. Hear (here) are some of the worst irritants:

Imply/Infer:
These two words get used interchangeably. When I hint at something, I IMPLY. When you hear what I say and deduce its meaning, you INFER.

For all intensive purposes:
I’ve heard and read this one more times than I care to recall. It actually hurts my ears. For goodness sake, it’s FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES!

Irregardless:
I don’t care if this is showing up in dictionaries; it even passes spell check! REgardless means “without regard”. The prefix “IR” indicates “non or without”. So, IRregardless would mean without without regard, or WITH Regard! I’ve seen this one in legal documents, and heard it from highly educated people. Regardless of that fact, it still just ain’t right.

I/Me:
I have to confess that I add this one with a heavy heart. Early in grade school, we all learn the general grammatical rules for using I and Me. But all too frequently I see or hear things like “The article was written by Mary and I.” Honestly, me don’t know how to correct people when they say things like that to I.

Kudos and “Kudo”:
One place I used to work had an award program called “Kudos to you”. Nice idea, except when someone received one they were often congratulated for getting a “kudo”. That’s the equivalent of calling one instance of praise a “prai”.

Compliment/Complement:
I decided to complement this list in hopes of getting compliments.

In lieu of (instead of “in view of”):
I actually received an email from an HR manager some time ago that said “In lieu of the holiday, the staff may enjoy a casual day this Friday”…. I replied that I believed the staff would opt for the holiday, which totally confused the writer.

They’re – their – there:
Yes, they sound the same, but that’s no reason to arbitrarily swap in whichever one you happen to type. This one pops up at least once every week in emails, blogs- even in published articles! Like finger nails on a black board.

Its – it’s:
This is an unusual case in which an apostrophe is NOT used to indicate possesion. “It’s” means “It is”. “Its” is the possessive form. As in, “the cat wagged its tail; it’s the way he shows that he’s happy”.

Your – you’re:
See above

Using apostrophe to pluralize a noun:
This shows up a lot when people pluralize names. More than one person named Brown would be called Browns, not Brown’s!

Could of – Should of:
I supposed this is because the contractions “could’ve” and “should’ve” sort of sound like “could of/should of”, but that’s no excuse. It’s “could HAVE” of “should HAVE”

Jive – Jibe:
How many times have you heard someone say “That doesn’t JIVE”? Does that mean it doesn’t play jazz music or something? When something seems out of whack, the phrase should be “that doesn’t JIBE”.

Less – Fewer
Have you ever cringed at a commercial touting a product with LESS calories? Ugh.

Supposably:
Supposedly. Say SUPPOSEDLY.

Literally:
Somehow this word gets thrown in when a verbal miscreant is trying to emphasize something. For example, “That literally made my head explode”…. no, really, it didn’t! The word “literally” means something ACTUALLY happened.

Last but not least…. I could care less:
The expression is “I could NOT care less”, meaning the speaker has as little care as possible. “I COULD care less” would indicate that the speaker is indicating some level of care.