to ‘have’ or to ‘of’…

Seriously? Honestly? Why don’t you just scratch a chalkboard, and be done with it? I do not claim to be perfect when it comes to spelling, though I’m pretty close, but my grammar isn’t always the tops. This is the point where you realize a spelling rant is coming, and you’re immediately looking for any mistakes I might have made. Oh, wait, did you see that? I said something that I “might have”. Why is that important?

You’ve probably heard all the rants about people that write “your” when they mean “you’re” or “its” when they mean “it’s”. You wonder what the big deal is. But the one that really makes me squirm isn’t just a misspelling, it’s the WRONG WORD. “Beatrice could of walked across the street, but didn’t.” Did you see it? “Could of” This phrase is not even ENGLISH, people!

Let me explain. The mistake comes from someone wanting to say they “could have” or “might have” done something, but then they didn’t. The shortened version is to use an apostrophe, and say “could’ve” or “might’ve”. It sounds like the above-mentioned phrase, but it isn’t! And regularly, I see blog posts or even online news articles that make mistakes like this. I will forgive a “your” instead of “you’re”, because it’s a spelling mistake that you can make in a hurry, even when you know better. But if you write a “might of” when you mean a “might have”, then you’re showing either ignorance or incompetence, or maybe both.

I like to read Freshly Pressed blog posts. They’re (see, that means ‘they are’) fun, interesting, and there’s (‘there is’) plenty of variety. And then, two paragraphs into it, the glaring mistake stands up and screams bloody murder. There are spelling mistakes that make me laugh, like when someone writes “rupture”, when they mean “rapture”. But mixing ‘of’ and ‘have’ just makes me cringe.

Now, having ranted about this, you have my permission to identify any mistakes I’ve made in this very article, or any of my own blog posts. I like to be told when I mess up, so I can fix it. And I’ve probably used all the quote marks incorrectly, but I never can remember the rules for those. So, feel free to educate me, and while you’re at it, drill the of/have rule into your head.

6 thoughts on “to ‘have’ or to ‘of’…

  1. I always feel like a jerk when other people’s bad grammar irritates me, but I feel better knowing I’m not the only one who gets annoyed. There’s this one coworker I want to slap every time she says “edsedra” (etc.).

    • Well, I tell myself that it’s silly, and I don’t generally criticize people to their faces. I would only make suggestions (and hope they didn’t bite me) to someone I knew very well. But as I have family and friends reading my blog, they know I like to fix my mistakes. My mom told me I had written “bird’s next” several times in a post (instead of bird’s nest), about a month after I wrote it. Funny thing was, I had written the word several times both ways in that post. And of course, spell check doesn’t pick up on the wrong word. Hence, my brother and I having a debate over the word complacent/complaisant, as you’ll see. 🙂

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