When I was pitching headlines to my friend for this article, she asked, “Blacklisted from what?”
Well anything really, blacklisted from being published on a major site, from that important networking event, from that brunch place down the street, from getting that dream job, from being on my friend list. The list goes on and on.
Friends and acquaintances of mine will tell you that I am the calmest person you’ll meet, but when I see these types of mistakes in writing I feel a surge of incredible hulk-esque anger. To avoid the perils of getting blacklisted, or at the least having your work red penned to death, watch out for these writing errors.
Words that sound like other words (i.e., homonyms)
To, two and too
The most common mistakes involve the misuse of the words to, two, and too. Here are some examples:
Incorrect: That’s to bad.
It is too bad that your grammar is terrible!
The correct phrase is: That’s too bad.
Incorrect: Let’s go two the park.
This just sounds like you’re asking the number two to go to the park with you. You don’t want to be that person. Use the word to in this sentence describing movement, motion and direction.
Correct: Let’s go to the park.
One plus one equals too.
No it doesn’t! It equals two, the number!
These are not interchangeable words! That’s why they are spelled differently. Just because a word sounds like another word, doesn’t mean they are the same!
Your and you’re
I am actually guilty of this one from time to time. Just remember that Your is possessive and You’re is a contraction of you and are.
You’re = you are
Your = Possessive
Your dog, your coat, your house, your boat.
Its vs. it’s
Its is possessive.
It’s is a contraction.
It’s = It is
An example of how to use both it’s-its:
It’s going to be a rainy night. The spider held on for its dear life.
Me and I
You and me sounds so natural, but it’s wrong! The correct phrase is: You and I.
The word me is a direct object, something happens to me.
The word I is a subject. The subject performs an action.
I drink a beer.
You give the beer to me.
Know vs No
I no you no the difference between know and no. No you don’t!
Correct: I know you know the difference between know and no.
The only thing these words have in common is how they sound. They are two totally different words.
Know stems from the word knowledge. To understand a concept is to know.
No can express a refusal or a lack of something.
There is no candy here.
Do I like that? No.
Those are only a few of the homonyms in the English language. Check out this list from grammarly if you want more.
Fafa and Mario explain
These friendly puppets do an awesome job explaining how to fix your grammar.
Bonus: Sayings that will get you blacklisted
These are more like enunciations (not annunciations!) that will get you blacklisted. These are always wrong and you should be banished to Mordor if you are guilty of these crimes against the English language.
Variations of the word ask
Such as akes and axe
Can I axe you something?
No, I don’t need anything chopped into pieces right now, thanks.
Variations of the word especially
For example, eggspecially and exspecially. If this is how you pronounce the word especially, I especially don’t want to talk to you.
Extra bonus: Using the non-word
Irregardless vs. regardless
Let’s have CM Punk talk through this one:
Converse vs. Conversate
“Conversate for a few cause in a few we gon’do what we came to do”
Sorry Biggie, Conversate isn’t a word! The correct form is converse.
Although, “Converse for a few” doesn’t sound as rhythmic as the original lyric.
Pro Tip: When using Microsoft Word, if the word has a red squiggly line underneath it, it isn’t a word!