Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Writing Pet Peeves

We've all got those things that bug us when we do them and when we see others doing them. Here are five of the nitpicky things that bother me!
  • double spacing at the beginning of sentences
This convention was used with the typewriter to make it easier to tell when one sentence ended and another began. With word processors that eliminate this issue, it is unnecessary anymore! It is habit for a lot of people still, though, and can be hard to kick.
  • misspelling names
This bothers me more in the business world than anywhere else. If I sent you an email with my name clearly printed at the bottom, can't you take a second to read it and check that you are spelling it correctly when you reply? I get a lot of "Alisons" and "Alysons" and even one "Dear sir" (yes, that was an actual person, not a bot.)
  • modifying absolutes
 Something can't be "very unique." It's either unique or it isn't.
  • saying "I" is always right
Sometimes "me" IS correct! "Mark and I went to the store" is right, but so is "Do you want to go to the store with Mark and me?"
  • which or that
This didn't used to bother me until I learned the difference and now I notice if it is wrong all the time! "Which" should be used for nonrestrictive (nonessential) clauses. For example: "The door, which had scratch marks, was red" as opposed to "The door that had scratch marks was red."

And there you have it. What are your writing pet peeves?

19 comments:

  1. this is a great post, i am horrible at the editing of things and finding mistakes. i find that whenever i re-read my works my brain skips the words, cause it says what i want it to say. and or i don't have the attention span of a gnat... love that word ga'nat.

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    1. I guess that's why writers need other editors!

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  2. Writing pet peeves... Excessive description. I don't need all the details to imagine a scene.

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  3. Spot on! I'd say cliches are definitely my writing pet peeves...

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    1. True. Though sometimes hard to avoid!

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  4. I didn't know that about which and that - I may have to go look over some older stuff just in case :)

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    1. haha, well it's an easily overlooked mistake, I think :)

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  5. I have only just started sorting out my double-spacing, for so long it was just automatic. I'm more conscious of it now though.

    My pet peeve, which I think is shared by many, is the old 'there, they're, their' confusion. It really is straight forward when you take the time to think about it.

    Great post.

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    1. It's true, it's not that complicated!

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  6. I'm right there with you on the misspelling names! Everybody and their dog calls me 'Ester.' I understand if you only heard my name said, you wouldn't know there's a silent 'h' in there, but so many times on email and Facebook, etc, where it's written right there as clear as day 'Esther' people still spell it wrong! Sorry. I guess it really bothers me. lol

    My pet peeve is mixing up your/you're or led/lead. I really don't get why it's so hard for some to get those right.

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    1. I know, right? My middle name is Esther, so I completely understand :)

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  7. Haha, I'm actually planning a blog post for next week around one of the bad-grammar trends that makes me freakin' CRAZY!

    I'm definitely down with your first four, but am having to wrap my brain around that last one. (And it hurts!) :-)
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. haha, I was wondering whether I should explain it further, but I didn't want to take up too much space for it. Basically, "which" goes in between two commas and the sentence works fine if you take the comma'd phrase out, whereas the "that" is crucial to the sentence.

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  8. This is a really nice post. I tend to watch out for my grammar when I'm writing.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. Yep, but sometimes things just escape us!

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  9. I am guilty of ending my sentences with two spaces before I begin another. I learned to type in the era of the dinosaur. Sorry. :-(

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    1. I did too, actually. It took a while to train myself not to anymore!

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  10. I notice people saying "I" in the wrong places all the time. Word always wants to swap my 'that's and 'which's around, often I have no idea why - even after reading your explanation, I'm still not sure. Some things just don't stick in my head. Affect and effect is another problem!

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