These grammatical errors will be the death of me

By Ben Peterson  |  March 15, 2019

One of these days, you might read my obituary. The cause of death won’t be the usual zipline accident or dairy overdose. No. It will be one of several common grammar/word usage problems that make my blood boil on a nearly constant basis. Let’s look at the suspects.

you’re / your

Or the all-too-common their/they’re mix up. I’ve seen these so many times they hardly phase me anymore. (See what I did there? It should be “faze,” not “phase,” people. That’s the real silent killer. Moving on.)

apart / a part

Hoo boy. This is a strong contender. Too often I read a tweet or LinkedIn update or blog comment that includes something like this: “I’m so happy to be apart of this team.” Huh? Apart means you’re happy to be away from those people. RIP me.

sneak peak

I almost flipped my desk just writing those two words together. Unless you’re talking about a stealthy mountain, it’s “peek.” And why am I encountering this misused phrase so often? It’s not even that good a phrase when used correctly! And don’t get me started on whatever it was that peaked your interest (it’s piqued, man!).

should of

Or “could of” or “would of.” NO. Nooooooooo. Never. Maybe I should stop spending so much time on college football discussion boards because I see these ones all the time. I know YOU know this, dear reader, but it’s “should have” and “would have” and “could have.” As in, “I should have gone to a college without a football team, so I wouldn’t waste so much time reading poorly written comments about how much the Trojans suck.”

I think I’ve found my answer. If you find me dead in a ditch, look for people who wrote “should of” in a place I would have seen it. And then throw the book at them.