Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Confessions: Lays, Lies and a Whole Lot More

Though I tend to think I am fairly accurate in English, I am sure a grammarian would be quick to put their red ink all over my blog. That being said, there are a few words, phrases, spellings, pronunciations, etc. that I always seem to mix-up. It's true. I am confessing my imperfections here and now.

Laying vs. Lying If you're tired do you lay down or lie down? I always say I feel like Laying down or I'm gonna go LAY down. However, upon further research, you can only LAY down objects. People and animals LIE down. (Though a person gets laid up and not lied up, go figure.)

Judgment. I don't know why, but this word always give me issues. If Judgment is the act of judging, which means to judge, it's no wonder I always wanna write "Judgement". In fact it is still acceptable in Great Britain. But ever since Noah Webster decreed the first E superfluous, Americans have omitted it. I suppose however, if I write “judgement” then I should also be expected to write “colour" and "theatre" as well.

Prepositional phrases are also a hard one for me. It just sounds funny to say, "To which restaurant are we going?" vs. "Which restaurant are we going to?" and "With whom are we going?" vs. "Whom (or most likely "who") are we going with?"

Here are some other common mix-ups that people tend to offend the English Language and Grammar with with which people tend to offend the English Language and Grammar. See which ones you do...

affect/effect: To affect is to produce an effect. Still confused? Affect is usually a verb meaning "to impact or influence." It might help to remember that "a" is for action and "e" is for result. I am affected by his offensive odor. The odor had an effect on me. See? Affect is a verb. Effect is a noun. Even I have trouble with this one.

conscience/conscious: Have you ever been present when somebody fainted? It's scary, because nobody knows which word to use. It's that bad. Seriously, many well-educated people stumble over this one! "Conscious" is an adjective, meaning "aware," "awake," or sometimes "on purpose." "Conscience" is your sense of right and wrong.

to/too: This is probably the most common problem pair, but once you get the difference, it seems so simple! To is a preposition that indicates location or direction, but it also can be used in front of a verb to make an infinitive, like "to eat" or "to swim." Too is an adverb meaning "excessively" or "additionally." Either way, this word indicates "an extra amount." I just think of it like this: If it is Too much of anything than there are too many O's. I'm too tired. I want to go too!

Anyway - I also like to learn the correct way to say things, and don't mind being corrected (usually). What words or phrases do you get mixed up on? Or perhaps you're too smart for me!

24 comments:

Lilly's Life said...

That is why I will NEVER let my mother read my blog. She used to mark my letters to her out of 10. I hate to think what she will do with my blog posts. Of course different communication mediums require different 'speak' I think. Interesting post!! I break all the rules and I wrote a post about the differences in spelling. I follow the British system being Australian but it causes angst for some Americans who read my blog. ITs all good fun!!

silverdot said...

Love this post. Okay - compliment/complement - I never know which one when I want to say, please enjoy this with my compliments or complements? I admit that I am flummoxed by that one. Thanks so much for your post on my blog yesterday!!

alt search said...

I can't believe I'm getting a lesson and a laugh when I read your posts! You're great!

Mrs de Miranda said...

You should do one of those School of Rock shows...is that the name? I cant remember, but I think you will know what I am talking about :)

Kaye Butler said...

This drives me crazy...

My bad.
Really?
Went and got my haur did.
OMG!
Chicargo
Herllo
Maybe you have to live in the south to appreciate the last three.

Sera said...

Hey congrats on being the featured saucy blogger of the day! Love your blog!

Vickie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, yesterday. Sterling Heights is 30 miles north of Detroit. I have done the hour pass through Indiana to get to Illinois.

Hey, scrapbooking is your own art. I will never let it stop me, that I am not as good as the pros or even people in my own group.

I am always worried about my grammar. I am always trying to rewrite my posts before I publish.

RhondaLue said...

Well, I do have to say that some rules I know but don't follow. Like I don't want to say I'm going to go lie down because most people think that's wrong. I'm a people pleaser, what can I say?

As for prepositions, I notice whenever someone else has them at the end of the sentence. Even I do it at times, usually with a disclaimer to let people know that I do realize that I just managed a huge English blunder but that I'm doing it anyway. I'm nuts.

I'm ESPECIALLY bothered when folks say "Ecspecially" or Expecially" It's madness....madness I tell you!

p.s. I've suddenly become quite self-conscious leaving comments for you without a spell or grammar check. yikes. I probably just spelled conscious wrong or something.

Megs said...

I always sing this song in my head to the tune of row row row your boat, "I T apostrophe S always means it is. I T S means ownership like their's and her's and his.

"The Queen in Residence" said...

You are the bomb. Thanks for the lesson in grammar that I will continue to brutally murder as I am public school edumicated. :)!

Tamie said...

hahahaha! well i guess that i am just as terrible as you with proper grammer!

lilianril said...

I always want to throw an 'd' in refrigerator for some reason - I know it's wrong, but I start to do it almost every time!

The Willeyes said...

It drives me crazy when people say words wrong as well. Some of the "utahisms" really drive me nuts. I will probably get stoned for pointing them out but...
Mountun instead of mountain.
Pellow instead of pillow.
Crown instead of crayon.
Oh I could go on and on:)
Thanks for the fun post!

Rhea said...

I had grammar pounded into me at my private school and yet I still forget sometimes which words to use...isn't that sad?!

pinkelephant said...

Whew, now I feel better about my 'Lasik' and 'Rasik' mistake-although you won't be making that mistake;-). I also noticed people constantly make mistakes with you're and your, there and their. My 6th grader does it,too.
If I point it out, he would say "Who cares"...

mydogumentary said...

Great post--I have a lot of English issues myself. Mine is to, too, and two--I know where they go but I just interchange them a lot! Also quiet and quite--once again just interchanging them.

Blog Stalker said...

Sorry, I'm perfect. NOT! As anyone who has ever read my blog can attest, I have no writing credibility to hang my hat on. Of course that wouldn't be so bad if the content was exceptional, but alas that is lacking as well.

Here's to getting better every day!

Have a great day!

KDLOST said...

O M Goodness! so glad someone else has the 'judgment' issue. in law school i would use spell check on an outline or a brief... and it would almost always catch my misspelling ...

i found myself arguing with the computer on more than one occasion...

purplehaze said...

This is why I am always in a state of confusion! Never was good at grammer. What about words that are spelled the same but can mean two different things? Like wound. Could be injury or could be to wrap something around. I know there are many other words like that just can't think of them right now!

Crystal said...

I would have to say I'm a little that way too! I always mix up my grammer. And my employer reads my blogs, and she always wants me to correct things, but I I shrug it off, sometimes, LOL

Wendy said...

New to SITS but really am getting a kick out of all my new SITStas...Love your blog will visit soon!!

Susie said...

What a great refresher!

Ronnica said...

I've never understood the confusion between lay and lie. They make sense to me and always have.

I must admit, I like to add the "u" in words like "color" and "humor." I'm not sure why. Maybe it's all the English novels I read?

I just posted a grammar issue in my blog today, so I guess I've already weighed in on this!

Paige said...

This makes no sense, but I am forever claiming that I vacuumed the yard, when really I mowed it.

I get mixed up on affect/effect as well, so I will avoid them both at all costs.

The prepositions problem--I do not like the error in writing, but in spoken language, it is fine with me.

Too many years with the grammar nazi as a boss has taken a toll on me.

Why am I nervous to comment on your blog? I think it is fear of a grammatical faux pas