5 Grammatical Mistakes That Will Make Your Readers Shake Their Heads

I’ve spent some time on here in the past discussing why I think proper grammar matters in press releases. It matters in all of your writing, in fact. It even matters in blogging, I’d argue. Sure, blogging is less formal, and it’s okay to bend some grammar rules here and there if it helps you communicate more effectively. Heck, I’ve certainly bent and broken my fair share of rules on this blog, intentionally and unintentionally.

However, there are certain grammatical mistakes that you simply can’t break. When you break them, it makes you look just plain stupid, to be quite honest. It causes you to lose credibility with your readers – whether that reader is a guest on your blog or a reporter you’ve just sent a press release to.

So, which grammatical mistakes do you have to avoid at all costs?

1. Using of  instead of have

This one drives me a little bit insane whenever I see it. The phrase is could have, not could of. It’s should have, not should of. And it’s would have, not would of. I understand that when you hear it said aloud it sounds like the person is saying of, but they’re (hopefully) saying have.

2. Getting your yours, theres, and its mixed up

I’ve gone over these mistakes a few times in the past, so I’ve combined them all into the #2 spot on this list. Let me just repeat what I’ve said in the past to make this easier:

Their indicates possession, such as we are going to their house.

There refers to a place, such as place the bags over there or there is a bookstore on Main Street.

They’re is a contraction of the words they and are. For example, they’re coming over for dinner at 6 tonight.

Your indicates possession. For example, do your homework or clean your room.

You’re is a contraction of you and are. For example, you’re going to get in trouble if you don’t clean your room.

It’s (with an apostrophe) means it is, like it’s going to be a good day. Its (without an apostrophe) indicates ownership, like the dog chewed its bone.

3. Mixing up loose and lose

Loose and lose are two totally different words with completely different meanings. It’s not: Why did you loose my wallet? It’s: why did you lose my wallet?

And it’s not: My pants are lose because I lost weight. It’s: My pants are loose because I lost weight.

Got it?

4. Using the word irregardless

Regardless of what you might see all over the internet, irregardless is a word used by ignorant people who should be simply saying regardless.

5. Using the word supposably

I have to wrap up this list before I throw my laptop across the room (by the way, it’s throw, not through). Supposably isn’t a word. That’s all there is to it. The correct word is supposedly.

What are some other grammatical mistakes that make you shake your head?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html

I have seen all of those mistakes and then some. It irks me when people say, “I could care less!” They really mean to say that they “couldn’t” care any less.


Thank you for this; I appreciate the humor.


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