A few years later, I taught high school journalism, and one of my classroom exercises was to bring in copies of newspapers to give students the opportunity of proofreading some of the articles (good experience to encourage them to proofread their own articles). I included that wedding article, and my students were amazed to find so many errors. This exercise drove home to them the necessity of proofreading essays, reports, and yes--even newspaper articles--before turning them over for grading or publication.
Below are more of my "favorite" grammar pet peeves:
- failing to capitalize "English" (or another language) - C'mon, people! We all know this one, so let's capitalize language names: French, German, Italian, Spanish, etc. Former students write to me: "You were my favorite english teacher." Obviously, I didn't teach them much, did I?
- Using an apostrophe with plurals - "I enjoy reading magazine's." The apostrophe indicates possessive, not plural, with nouns. Correct: "I enjoy reading magazines." Our oldest daughter used to live in rural TN, and a flea market had this hand-lettered sign out front beside the road: "We sell doll,s, gun,s, and lot,s of other things." Using a comma for plurals is even worse than an apostrophe! NOTE: Another quirk in English grammar is that an apostrope is NOT used with possessive pronouns: hers, his, theirs, ours, etc. NEVER write her's, their's, our's.
- Your/you're, and your's - These first two, your/you're, are not supposed to be used interchangeably. "Your" is a possessive: That is your book. "You're" is a contraction of "you are": I believe you're the person who won the contest. As for your's, please see the previous entry.