Many of us have looked back at an old Tweet and cringed at a typo, or had a grammatical error pointed out by another Facebook user.
With millions of people around the world using some form of social media every day, our use of literacy skills (particularly spelling and grammar) are something that are on constantly on show.
While we all studied this in school, as the years go by it gets easier to forget. With the use of mobile phones increasing all of the time, many people no longer feel the need to write full sentences if they are texting. I am even guilty of having entire conversations in Emoji language!
Many of us have looked back at an old Tweet and cringed at a typo, or had a grammatical error pointed out by another Facebook user. Between auto-correct on touch screen phones and a tiny character count on Twitter, making a mistake on Social Media is extremely easy to do.
Some grammar mistakes online can be funny– with many websites posting screenshots of people using words inappropriately by accident. However, many employers now look at the Social Media accounts of potential candidates before hiring them, and what better way to give them a good impression of yourself than your impeccable use of grammar?
Take a look at four of the main offenders below: how many of these common mistakes do you make?
‘I can’t believe their doing this!’ ‘I’m they’re cousin.’ ‘I can’t wait to go there on my holidays!’
These three words seem to be one of the most common trios mixed up online. Many people find it difficult to determine the difference between the three, so ‘There’ refers to a place, ‘they’re’ is a contraction of they are and ‘their’ is a plural pronoun.
‘Your kidding me?’ ‘What’s you’re name?’
This one seems to the most common mistake amongst my Facebook friends, especially the use of ‘your’ instead of you are. This one infuriates a lot of people, with self-proclaimed ‘Grammar Nerds’ or ‘The Grammar Police’ posting comments and replies with the correct word on. These people may learn a little from Ross Geller, in the famous ‘Beach House’ episode of Friends. After reading a letter from Rachel he uses her grammar skills against her in an argument, shouting ‘Y-O-U apostrophe R-E MEANS YOU ARE, Y-O-U-R MEANS YOUR’.
Could have/ Could of
‘She could of gone shopping today’
The good news for those making this error is that it could possibly have been influenced by your accent. I can say that I don’t pronounce ‘H’s properly, so when I say ‘could have’ out loud it does sound more like ‘of’. However it is possible to find your everyday language and pronunciations inside your writing – with this appearing to be one of the main culprits!
‘It’s harder then you think.’
The word ‘than’ is most commonly used when comparing different subjects or items; for example, you may say that one dress is more expensive than another. The word ‘then’ often finds itself used incorrectly in these comparative sentences, and completely changes the intended meaning. ‘Then’ should be used when describing a sequence of events, such as ‘I went to the shop and then to the restaurant.’
If you feel as though you could brush up on some of your literacy skills, why not take a look at our range of English courses? Or for the eagle-eyed grammar corrector, have you thought about a career as a Proofreader?