English grammar

Hi all

I wonder if any of you get irritated by poor English grammar that people adopt in verbal and written communications. This morning I heard on TV a woman in her thirties use words: ‘more better’ and ‘more safer’. What next? ‘The bestest’?

I’m really the least qualified person to be making this comment but I’m appalled by how little care and attention people put into expressing themselves. Language is a living concept and it changes all the time. New words such as ‘selfie’, a gig or fracking are great newer additions to the language. This however should not distruct from fact that if you are using a particular language you should follow it’s grammar. The most common mistakes people make is: ‘to advice’ rather than ‘to advise’, effect and affect used interchangeably, ‘your’ instead of ‘you are’. You could go on.

Incidentally, typos don’t bother me at all, it’s very easy to make these mistakes partcularly on a forum like this when people have visual difficulties.

There seems to be a trend, the older the person the better their standard of English. The fact that younger people have such a poor grasp of grammar is a reflection of inadeqaute level of teaching in the last twenty or thirty years. This seems to be a trend all over the world, not just in this country.

Feel better by saying this but was seriously appalled by the TV comment this morning… Am I the only sad person noticing it?



I’m 21 and I’m horrified by what I see! I love the study of language and I’m an avid reader; I’m quite isolated, I don’t have any friends apart from those on my Facebook account, who all seem to adopt text language and poor grammar as the norm. I have to refrain from correcting; it drives me up the wall! Like you I don’t mind typo’s, it happens to everyone! I do blame computers, and television to some extent, everyone relies on autocorrect and spell/grammar check on word, rather than use a dictionary. Even I’m guilty of doing so, but I still make an effort to keep my grammar in check! As for television, so many of my age would rather watch tv than pick up a good book; I seem to be rather alone when it comes to this. I get so bored with television as it’s all the same so I go to the library every three weeks pick random books of different typies and read them, I find that so much more interesting, it’s also easy to get lost in :). So you’re not alone in thinking this, I physically cringe at Facebook, and these are people of my own age!

‘The fact that younger people have such a poor grasp of grammar is a reflection of inadequate level of teaching in the last twenty or thirty years.’

Ahem, don’t blame the teachers! If you could just observe the hardwork and commitment that thousands of teachers put into their job every single minute of every single day!!!


So should I be charitable and assume it’s a typo - which you don’t mind - or do you not know the use of “its” versus “it’s”? :wink:

Normally, I wouldn’t say anything, but a grammatical error in a post complaining about grammatical errors is a bit ironic. There’s at least one other in there too, as well as a spelling mistake, which I’ll assume was a typo.

Yes, I am sensitive to these things. I have been both an author and an editor a long time ago, in another life, so it was my job to look out for them. Since I got ill, and was made redundant a couple of years ago (unfortunate coincidence, not cause and effect, as far as I know) I have toyed with going back to it, as it’s one of few jobs that could realistically be done from home, with little more than a desk and a computer. But I have never really got very far with that idea. I enrolled on a proofreading and editing course by distance learning, but they’ve given up even sending me reminders about the overdue coursework now, so I think that was money down the drain. With hindsight, I might have done better signing up for one of the residential courses. It sounded more daunting, but at least I would have completed it and got the certificate, instead of wasting my money.

Anyway, I digress: I do agree with your post overall. I’ve noticed some schoolboy howlers even on the BBC website at times. I know they are under increasing pressure to get the news online quickly, before the competition, but it seems to be at the expense of editorial standards. You used to be able to trust that if it was on the BBC, it would definitely be right, gramatically and factually. Sadly, that is no longer always the case.

Sorry, I wasn’t having a go at you about the typos. I may have made a few myself. Sometimes, particularly when tired, I have a tendency to start spelling things phonetically, so I confuse: “there” and “their” and: “to/too/two”. It’s really frustrating when you revert to mistakes you haven’t made since you were five. Before I was diagnosed, I remember joking about whether there was any such thing as: “adult onset dyslexia”, because I’d noticed more errors creeping in, without ever suspecting I might be ill. It was nothing major, but silly mistakes that were out of character. Nothing that led to a major misunderstanding or financial loss, luckily, but I think at least one of my customers thought I was a bit of an airhead - not a reputation I’d ever had before! Then again, he was a bit of a misogynist, so he may have thought anyone female was a bit of an airhead - I’m not sure.

A long ramble, but sometimes it’s nice to talk about things that aren’t MS - or only slightly.


1 Like

and what about people who say “LOL” and “i was lolling my head off”. yeah ok i know a lot of people rely on texting but saying it when face to face with someone just ain’t right!

carole (not really a grammar nazi)


It drives me potty. Poor grammar and spelling!! One of my irritants is when a sentence is written that says , eg. “their going when your ready”… Arrrrgh!!! Maddening!!! The Queens’ english is a wonderful, complex language…respect it…!!.. Ooooo…I’m stepping on my soapbox again… Time to jump off quick. :-p

My pet peeve is the use of grocers’ apostrophes - or should I say apostrophe’s - gggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

All No wot u meen. Neil Sorry, It was the first thing that came into my mind.

is ‘excellently’ a proper word?

“I would OF thought…” Drives me mad!!! English is my second language but it seems that my teachers did a far better job at teaching me proper grammar than many school teachers here… I see it at my children’s school…

move over Vinnygirl, is there room for one more on the soapbox

My son, when a teenager, was forever screaming at the television, for example when someone said “It was over quick” he would shout “quickly - adverb” so not all youngsters fail to gasp English. In fact a teacher told me that my foster child was “well teary this morning” so what chance do the children have if teachers fail to grasp the basics.

What’s the problem with: “excellently”? If someone’s performance was excellent, they performed excellently. You can’t say: “They performed excellent.”

Same as the quick/quickly example Dinks cites.


Sorry, Dinks BUT…Quick is an adjective in your example with your son, not an adverb - the instruction is to make it quick. Quick modifies it, not make. It is whatever the person has asked for or to be done. When whatever was asked for happens the next comment could be thank you, that was quick - definitely not quickly. This is a different construction from he made it really quick, which is, I think, unlikely - somebody who uses quick as an adverb in that sentence would probably say he made it real quick. The sentence which both Alxmrphi and I would use, he made it really quickly, has quickly modifying the verb.

Ps. I quoted the above explanation regarding quick/quickly and it posted before i intended to do so. The last sentence isn’t relevant. I just thought this answer was easier to understand than if i had tried to explain…

I knew that posting about this subject would be controversial but I enjoyed reading people’s views. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one who get’s annoyed.

Thanks Tina for putting me in the right place… For me learning English has been work in progress and I hope to be improving but I sometimes doubt if this will happen. Partly because there is a limit to how much new information you can absorb, unless you are five years old and partly because what I see and hear can only make my English worse.

Anyway, this subject is not going to go away any time soon, still a good discussion for Sunday afternoon.


I’d have thought it is AN inadequate level of something.I’ll put the pedant away,but not after opening the debate on ‘i’m loving it’ as per ‘The Scottish restaurant’.Does poor grammar go hand in wallet with fast food like substances?


I can understand that when saying ‘could have’ it does sound like ‘could of’ - but seeing it in print really does my 'ead in.

Also the incorrect use of their, there and they’re.

Two, to and too.

Whether & weather.

New & knew.

… I could go on but I’ll just make myself angry.

Thanks for the rant - I feel more better now!!!

JBK xx

I remember reading in an actual printed newspaper the words ‘should of’. The editor should have picked that one up!


Funny enough it was my spelling and grammar that triggered me off to something wrong. I swear i have gone dyslexic lol.

The new way of speaking is just laziness pure and simple. ALL young people are taught English correctly, but when they leave school, it seems to go out of the window. I blame text and facebook lol and oh yeh predictive texting lol.

The worse words for me :




Oh and so many more. Saying NOTHING lol.

at the end of the day… it goes dark!!

drives me mad too goldengirl