Gross Writing Errors Found on the Web

By Daniel Scocco

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Computers and the Internet are revolutionizing the way we create and share information. Through blogs, wikis and social networks, you can reach literally 1.2 billion of people without leaving your room.

That being said, a little attention toward correct spelling and basic grammar rules couldn’t hurt, right? Below you will find some curious, to say the least, errors that we gathered on the Web.

You are the best mom in the hole world” – Maybe the person lives in a hole or something, but he probably wanted to say the whole world.

The kid’s were very attentive because of the recent tsunami” – The apostrophe has a wide range of uses within the English language, but forming plurals is not one of them. The kids were very attentive.

you might as well ask if less men enter nursing because there are less men in nursing” – Less men? Fewer men you mean! Less is used for uncountable things, like less sugar or less money. For plural things (countable), you must use fewer, like fewer cars.

The stock market made further progress forward yesterday” – This one is coming from the New York Times (ouch!). Progress means to move forward or to develop, so “progress forward” is a redundancy, and should be avoided. It’s like to say that something is “absolutely essential…”

took me around 1 hour and my cell ran out of credit) to resolve some minor (yet presistant) issues” – The issues were persistent, not presistant.

The company provides solutions in the following specialty areas: information technology, proffesional services and direct hire/search” – This was found on a LinkedIn resume (ouch again!). Not sure how professional the services really are.

the importance of the Internet and the roll it plays in our everyday lives” – The Internet plays a very important role, not roll, in our lives.

These could of been handy because it’s easier to look at a more simple, less ‘messy’ theme to understand how…” – These could have been, not could of. Also, if something is “more simple” it is simpler.

1K should be sufficient for an ernest payment” – Ernest is a male name. The good-faith deposit used in real estate transactions is called earnest payment.

make sure that each of these templates contain the same XHTML/HTML” – Each refers to singular subjects, and the verb must agree with the subject. Each of these templates contains.

The nature of his illness had been kept quite and not many of the crew and cast had seen much of him in the intervening time” – The nature of his illness had been kept quiet (not “quite”).

A friend will do whatever they can to lift you up when your down because they don’t like to see there friend hurt” – Friends (not “A friend”) will do what ever they can. The pronoun must agree with its antecedent. When you’re (not your) down. To see their (not there) friend.

he’s alot like a younger version robert horry, same height, long body” – This is a mistake that happens a lot (not alot) around the Internet.

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56 Responses to “Gross Writing Errors Found on the Web”

  • George Craig

    Are not fewer dollars less money? or Is not less money fewer dollars?

  • Stultus Scelestus

    “you might as well ask if less men enter nursing because there are less men in nursing” – Less men? Fewer men you mean! Less is used for uncountable things, like less sugar or less money. For plural things (countable), you must use fewer, like fewer cars.

    This is American nonsense. In proper English, “less” can indeed be used. (In fact, that exact phrase, “less men”, is given as a usage example in the OED!)

  • George Craig

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. WRONG! If you are offended by the grammatically correct but politically incorrect: “Everyone is entitled to his opinion”, why use the plural “their” instead of the neuter pronoun that has been part of our language for many more years than I. Would it really offend you more to say: “Everyone is entitled to its opinion” more than it offends us to hear: “Everyone is entitled to their opinion”?

  • Peter

    Well, it would in many ways be more wrong — grammatical gender is not sex; the “neuter” pronoun “its” doesn’t apply to people; it’s “neuterness”[*] isn’t a substitute for the indeterminate sex of the pronoun’s referent. “His” is formally correct; “their” is widely used and has a history, so while I still complain about it sometimes, it’s not “WRONG” in capitals; at most it’s “(wrong)” in parentheses and tiny little letters 🙂

    [*] It’s not really clear to me that the concept of gender applies to modern English.

  • Leigh

    Wonderful site! Like many others, I used a pleasant hour reading the comments and digressions. However, I came onto the site hoping for a succinct discussion of the frequent use of “Me and (name) did this” or “(Name) and me went somewhere.” A very charming young friend sent us a New Year’s letter in which he used this terminology several times. How can I kindly correct his misplaced modesty? (Which, by the way, drives me crazy whenever I see it.) Is it included in your on-line Grammar Book?

    Also enjoyed Seven Writing Errors That Aren’t. By the way, Kate Turabian’s book of style, referred to by some as the “[University of]Chicago Style Book” was the standard style guide when I was in graduate school.

  • Joann Leonard

    Leigh’s comment is interesting. I often have wondered as to the usage of “Me and (name) did this” vs. “(Name) and Me did this. Which is correct?

    Both ‘sound’ correct to me, but one can’t always go by that.

    I’m also interested in the discussion of “their” being used ‘improperly’ in English. Since in English there is no singular neuter pronoun, and the use if ‘his’ and/or ‘her’ is sexist and when combined or alternated, exceeding awkward, what are we to do?

    Someone suggested ‘its’. ‘Its’ sounds dreadful when applied to a human being. ‘Its” as a pronoun as always been reserved for inanimate or at the
    most, non-sentinate beings.

    Given a choice, and we have no alternative, I much prefer ‘their’ over ‘its’ as both are incorrect, but ‘their’ sounds much better, and I also agree that:

    “It’s not really fair to criticize people for trying to get around such a gob-smacking limitation – we need to accept the practice or invent a new word.”

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