Tag Archives: english

Too, To and Two

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For the last video in the Grammar Teacher series, I had to discuss the difference between the words too, to and two. Too often, people are either too lazy (or just don’t care) to use these words properly when writing. How hard is it? And by the way – these videos were done at the request of viewers. That must mean they have several people they want to send these to!

Too is an adverb which means in addition to. It can be used in a sentence to indicate more than one thing: I am going to the mall, too..

To is a preposition, used for expressing motion or direction toward a point, person, place, or thing approached and reached, as opposed to from. I am going to the mall later today.

Two is a number! It comes after the number one, and before the number three! Some of you write as though you are still two years old.

It’s not rocket science.

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This is a Sentence

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How difficult is it really to speak and write properly? Why is it that so many people cannot manage this simple task? Do they not pay attention in school? Are they too lazy to care how they come across to others?

A sentence begins with a capital letter. It also ends in some type of punctuation mark. If you’re going to bother to write something, at least know how to correctly form a sentence. Otherwise – stop bothering me.

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What are Your Pet Peeves?

You already know that one of my biggest pet peeves is to see people using simple words incorrectly. It drives me batshit to see someone use your and you’re interchangeably. Hello! They are not the same word! Are people seriously not learning these things in school, or are they too lazy to type/spell the words correctly?! It makes me want to tear my hair out.

I have a lot of pet peeves, I admit it. I freak out if I see someone using those yellow Post-It notes thingies. I hate those!! I could sit here all night talking about things that drive me nuts, but that’s not the point of my post! I want to know what makes YOU crazy? What little things make you want to run and scream?!

While you’re making your list – and checking it twice – make sure you take the time to read the things that our community has published today. There are some excellent discussions going on!

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Right and Write

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Someone sent you a link to this video because you apparently don’t know the difference between the words right and write. Did you not pay attention back in about the second grade? Okay, fine… maybe it was fifth grade. In any case, if you’re old enough to watch this video, you’re old enough to know when and how to properly use those words.

Right is an adjective that means: in accordance with what is good, proper, or just. An appropriate use of this word would be in a sentence such as: She had the right idea all along..

Write simply means to put letters, words or characters onto something such as paper, by using an instrument such as a pen or pencil. Using this word properly in a sentence is easy: I am going to write out my grocery list before I leave..

Now – how hard was that? Can you please remember the meanings, and use these words the way they are supposed to be?! Seriously…

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You’re and Your

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Yes, I am a grammar cop. It drives me insane when I see someone use common words incorrectly. For instance: your and you’re are NOT interchangeable. There is a distinct difference, one which you should have learned back in junior high. If you have forgotten the difference, I’ll be happy to explain!

Your is a form of the possessive case of you, used as an attributive adjective: Your jacket is in the closet. In that sentence, your clearly denotes that the jacket belongs to you.

You’re, on the other hand, is simply a contraction of the words you and are. You’re going to be late if you don’t hurry! In that example, you’re is clearly a shorter way of writing (typing) out the words you and are.

Now – close your eyes, and commit these to memory. I guarantee that the next time you use one of them incorrectly, someone is going to send you this video. If they do, you have no one to blame but yourself.

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The State of the English Language Online

Someone by the name of Mr. Martinez sent me this email the other day. The message struck me as unique, given that it was rather well written (and I’m quite used to receiving incoherent blather). He believes that the English language is headed towards a meltdown…

The Internet has given me endless opportunities to contact people – to exchange ideas, opinions and concerns with them. Having English as my 3rd language (in Europe, we have to learn three languages in school) sometimes results in me accidently communicating in a malformed structure. This is, however, not much of a problem with other people – so long as I can form coherent sentences.

I have, during the last few years, encountered a distinctive (and obvious) degradation of the English language online among people that carry the English language as their mother tongue. It is sometimes mind-blowing how poorly people spell and form sentences – and this coming from people who have spoken and written English far longer than I have!

I have often found on forums and chat rooms people who were born in the U.S., raised in the U.S., but cannot (for the life of them) spell correctly, form sentences correctly, etc. Some of the American people I chat with have so many poorly formed sentences that you cannot possibly understand what it is they’re trying to say.

This all began, I believe, with the emergence of SMS – where you had a limited amount of characters and you had to compress words, use acronyms frequently, and find shortcuts to get your message through the very limited space you could use. This, I find inexcusable to use on the Internet, since there are really no restrictions on how many letters you are allowed to use in one message. [Editor’s note: Twitter may be the exception.]

I know that you studied English as well, and I notice that during your live feeds, you often correct people’s mistakes (which I think is the right thing to do) – and you always put emphasis on how important it is that people learn how to communicate clearly.

Do you believe there is a degradation of the English language online?

Do you believe that this degradation will get worse, or do you believe it’s just a phase? What is your opinion about “text speak” and “elite speak” – the kind of “speak” where you either leave out vowels completely, or substitute letters with numbers. Do you encourage spell checkers in browsers, or should people just learn not to butcher the English language when expressing themselves online?

I’m curious to hear your opinion from someone who has studied English as a Major in University – or just make another live feed of it so I can watch it on YouTube later.

Yes, it’s frustrating to see that few people seem to care about how they compose their digital presence anymore. You’d have been laughed off the newsgroups if you flew in there displaying nothing more than a molecule of what might be considered intelligence. Now, we’re face to face with the AOL’ification of the English language.

Let me put it to you this way: if you can’t write your way out of a coherent sentence, my respect level for you automatically drops by half. I don’t care if you’re seventeen or seventy – if you can use a keyboard, learn to use your language skills.

I’m not bothered by ‘1337’ speak (or random truncations), but I am bothered by poor punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling. I’m not sure if it’s laziness or idiocy, but I just don’t think you have much of a future if you can’t string together more than two words.

The Chemistry of Texting English in High School

Justin McKey is a high school student who was handed an interesting assignment:

I was sitting in Chemistry class today and my teacher gave us the strangest assignment. She told us that we would be writing a summary about a paragraph in the Chemistry book, concerning Phospholipids. But here’s the twist. I would be required to write the summary in text message form (whatever that is) and to use abbreviation wherever possible. I then told her that some people use T-9 and/or predictive text input and don’t really abbreviate. She then told me that I should just use bad grammar and instead of writing, for example, “you” to write the letter u. And to use things like lol and cu8tr. I thought this might interest you since your involved in both English and technology. As you can imagine, this was a concern to me.

I totally agree and love the idea of integrating technology into the classroom, with use of Smart Boards and notebook computers. But of course there’s boundaries, such as using cell phones to text in class or cheat on a test. However, there seems to be an even more appalling feature. And that is poor or bad English. I know you’ve probably come across this since your emailed so frequently, and I’ve probably made several mistakes in this email as well. Now I’m not trying to say that texting inhibits degradation to a lower level (of) society. I think that proper English and technology can, and should become one.

According to my teacher the faculty had a meeting held by Sandy Garret, the State Superintendent, instructing them to incorporate text “lingo” into school curriculum. Am I the only person that is frightened by this?! It’s like the schools have given up and are accepting the false fact that students can’t speak/write in proper English. Think about our Constitution becoming a bunch of “lol’s” and “wtf george what’s wid the taxes”! Absolutely ridiculous.

Well, I do say “W-T-F” in conversation – but never “L-O-L.”

Franklin Language Translator

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – While in Frankfurt recently, we had an amazing time. The food was great, the people were friendly, and the city was beautiful. However, Ponzi and I neither one speak a lick of German.

We managed to get around by using hand gestures, pointing, smiling a lot, and saying “Sprechen Sie Englisch?” often. I am a coffee fanatic, and there is ONE thing I must have in my coffee… real, heavy cream. When I would ask for it in Germany, they kept bringing me milk or half and half. So, off to Conrad’s we went. This store is kind of like a Best Buy meets Radio Shack. The prices weren’t bad, I suppose. I picked up a handy little Franklin Language Translator. I was able to type in a word or phrase, and instantly translate it into German. Of course, my pronunciation still left a lot to be desired. But overall, it helped Ponzi and I communicate a bit better during our stay.

Even though the word Internet is apparently pronounced the same in every single language I tried… for the most part, this little device works really well.

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French to English

I speak French! Kinda. Here’s the original article, and the Google translation:

“If you like your software better than Windows, keep XP at least a year moreâ€?, advises Chris Pirillo, on the site Windows Fanatics, by giving a long list of “tricksâ€? for the difficult passage of XP to Vista.

“Your software will not go. Consider that if something goes under XP, there is a good luck that that does not function in the same way under Vista, because of new protections of safetyâ€?, explains Mr. Pirillo.

My buddy Chris Null gets Frenched, too:

“Microsoft would like that everyone adopts Vista immediately, but that would be a nightmare because the majority of the PC are not capable to make turn Vista, especially its most sophisticated functionsâ€?, specifies Christopher Null, technical adviser at Yahoo! , quoted by Orlando Sentinel.

I wonder if Victor’s errors have also been translated:

“Look at Vista, but wait later to buy itâ€?, summarizes Victor Godinez, of Dallas Morning News, which tells its problems of installation: “my printer sends from now on every 10 minutes to me an error messageâ€?, many old programs are not compatible Vista, tells it.

And humor must be the international language, because I totally busted a gut after reading the last paragraph:

According to the American press, only some rare fans were at midnight in front of the CompUSA store of especially open New York for the launching of Vista, primarily to benefit from reduction on printers rather than to buy Vista.