Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Grammar's Underwear

           It’s been a while since I’ve griped about grammar, so I’m going to share some of my biggest peeves with you. See if you share my same sighs. Or size.

          First, it’s the lend and loan confusion that seems to be increasing. “Can you loan me ten bucks” should really be “lend me ten bucks.” (Although with today’s inflation, you should probably ask for twenty, not ten.)

          I loaned her my book, you can loan him a pen, here—I’ll loan you my car, my brother loaned me this jacket… on and on.  People act as if the word, “lend” is nonexistent. But lend is the verb and loan is the noun. You lend a loan.  And sometimes I guess you lend alone as well.

          This sign reminds us to add "ly" in such situations. I must admit to defacing a few signs with my black Sharpie, in similar fashion.          
          Next is the less and fewer problem.  I was in Sephora the other day and saw a makeup brand that claimed less wrinkles. Sorry, I will never buy that brand. It should say “fewer wrinkles.”  Less describes an adjective. Less expensive, less difficult, less colorful, less bulky, less exciting.

          Fewer is the word so many people really want, when they’re using “less.”  Fewer minutes, fewer people, fewer miles, fewer problems, fewer costs, fewer pounds, fewer years.  Fewer modifies nouns.  Fewer wrinkles, unless you worry about grammar like I do.

           There, their, and they're. We see these used incorrectly on social media posts, billboards, just about everywhere:

            But on an ad for educational software? C'mon.   
            Your and you're still stump some folks. But again, on a junior high sign? We live in sad times.
            Finally, I still cringe when people put “at” at the end of a sentence. Let's see where we're at. Where should I call you at?  Where is your car at? These should all become “Let's see where we are.” “Where should I call you?” and “Where is your car?”  The at is already implied by the word, where, so adding it to the end of the sentence is redundant.
          I have considered opening an email account called neverendwith@ but can’t decide if all the explaining will be worth it.

          Okay, I have vented. Thank you for lending me your ear; I now have fewer worries and less stress.  We can all have more peace, wherever we are.

          Time to order Christmas gifts—my book, “A Little Christmas Prayer” is ideal for everyone. And inexpensive, too. Find it right here.

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