Today’s LetsBlogOff asks us: What is your grammar pet peeve?

My friends anxiously await this answer, I‘m sure. Hey, being the grammar and spelling police may not always be appreciated, but as far as I’m concerned, it should be counted as a super power.

I have quite a few of these pet peeves, as it turns out. In some cases, things I find unacceptable – or even contemptible, are making their way into common usage. This, in my opinion, is evidence of our society heading straight to hell in a handbasket. I know I should probably worry about bigger things, but let’s face it; Good grammar and proper etiquette are what separate us from the apes. (That 15 foot wall helps, too.)

The use of apostrophes when referring to a decade, such as the 1980’s, causes me pain. Not unbearable pain, but I am definitely uncomfortable. 1980s. There. Better.

I am also a big supporter of the word “handsful” versus handfuls, mothers-in-law versus mother-in-laws, and bucketsful versus bucketfuls.

I get pretty tired of seeing “accept” and “except” used interchangeably.

I cringe when I see professional letters that begin with Dear Sir, instead of Dear Sir:

The use of i.e. (that is) rather than e.g. (for example) drives me insane.

I have also noticed the element “lead” substituting for the verb “led.” The good news? That little error eliminates quite a few resumes in my stack for review.

Cockiness like that leads to karmic retribution like this –

The other day, I was writing and realized I had no idea if I should type the word “past” or “passed.”

Seriously. I decided to change the whole sentence to avoid hurting my brain, which was obviously on vacation.

And for that, I feel ashamed. Kryptonite, indeed.

But I’ll get past it.

Ah ha!

Ah ha?

Damn it.

To read other pet peeves about grammar, click the logo below, and enjoy!


  1. I think the problem with grammarians uniting is that we’d end up with only grammarians as friends! On the other hand, I have found this interchange both fun and enlightening. I knew when I wrote my little piece on “sexism” in the language that mine would be a voice in the wilderness, but I had some fun exchanges. I also picked up a few grammar pointers from reading other posts.

    Like the choir I’m now preaching to, I take English very seriously. Had my life gone as hoped, I would have been a published novelist. However, I did manage to write two novels and produce a great deal of other writing. My partner on our blog site is in awe of the fact that I’ve written over 800 blogs since we started the site in 2008, but the weekly output’s about the same as it was when I wrote my novels.

    Grammar is one of the tools for a writer, so I made it a point to master it. I also work very hard on vocabulary. Despite the amount of time I now spend on the Internet these days, I still end every day with a book. I typically read an hour or two before going to bed. There’s a little table with shelves beside my rocker in the study. The top shelf is where the current book goes when I’m finished reading for the night. The second shelf holds a dictionary. I make it a point to look up the words that are not in my vocabulary. To be honest about it, I don’t look up every single one, but it is fair to say that I look up 90% of them. The likelihood of my ever writing another novel is pretty remote, but I still take writing and grammar and vocabulary very seriously.

    • I admire you. I find myself looking up words as I read on my E Reader much more than I would if I had to pick up a REAL dictionary. I just mourn the lack of curiosity and desire to expand one’s vocabulary that I feel there is today.

  2. Great post! The i.e. versus e.g. thing makes me crazy too. Just translate them from the Latin and their meanings become clear. “Id est” versus “exempli gratia,” what could be simpler? Usually, I fume alone but this topic has allowed me to reach out to other sticklers. We should start a support group. There are no excuses for sloppy grammar in the same way that there are no excuses for bad manners.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with your points. Could I add ‘compliment’ and ‘complement’ to that list – I wish I had £5 for every time I’ve seen them wrongly used. I keep a file entitled ‘Crimes Against English’ on my desktop. That’s quite bad isn’t it?

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