Word Crimes

One of my friends from the Writing Center shared this video with me. It’s pretty perfect.

Now, I’m not a Grammar Nazi, but I do notice some of the “word crimes” committed by the people around me. One of my personal pet peeves is when people use “u” instead of “you” or “your” instead of “you’re.” Another is noun/pronoun disagreement. An example of this would be saying something like, “When a person commits a word crime, they seem careless” instead of “When a person commits a word crime, he or she seems careless.”

I know I’m not innocent when it comes to word crimes. I have a bad habit of saying “espresso” as “eXpresso” and “laptop” as “labtop.” I know this is wrong, but I can’t seem to stop. Typos also seem to creep up on me no matter how careful I try to be. (I’ve actually had to edit this post since I first published it to remove a particularly awful one).

These things happen. If I were to stop speaking or writing every time I committed a word crime, I’d never be able to communicate anything! My friends have a long-running joke that even though I’m an English major, I “can’t English.”

Trying to avoid word crimes is good; it helps people to take you more seriously. But don’t over-analyze everything you say or write. Everyone commits word crimes sometimes! Thankfully, most of them are just misdemeanors 🙂

Do you have any grammar/language pet peeves? Have you ever committed a really embarrassing word crime?


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