I try really hard not to be one of those grammar harpies who goes around adding commas and whiting out rogue apostrophes, but it’s tough sometimes. I don’t want to be a junior Lynn Truss, and I assiduously avoid being one of those people who corrects other people’s grammar in speech or, worse, on Facebook. But sometimes people just say something so totally awful that English nerds like me cringe involuntarily. These five things are like nails on a chalkboard to me, but everyone’s bugged by different grammar buggaboos–so tell me yours in the comments! Let it all out.
1. For all intensive purpose– I actually physically react when people say this. I apologize for my grotesque expression. Except I don’t.
2. Expresso– This isn’t even a bad grammar thing so much as it is just a dumb person thing. Some marketer, somewhere, thought they he was being so clever by creating the word “expresso” (Dunkin Donuts? I don’t know) and now I have to hear it at least once a visit to my local coffee shop.
3. Less/fewer– Less refers to something you can’t count, fewer is for things you can count. You have less milk, but fewer cookies.
4. Could care less– Please stop and think about this one. If you could care less, that implies you do care, at least a little. C’mon.
5. Well/good– I’m just as guilty of this one, sometimes, in that my stock response to “how are you?” is usually “good!” when of course it should be “I’m well,” but it drives me up a wall when people say “I did good.” Stop it!
What gets your mental red pen working overtime?