I believe that even the best grammar gurus will make grammar mistakes. I know for me, my brain is spinning a whole lot faster than my fingers can keep up. Sometimes I think my fingers take short cuts. Or maybe it is my brain taking the short cuts, I’m not sure. Sometimes I catch it before I hit publish, or send, or whatever the case may be. Sometimes I don’t catch it until a day or two later when my brain has disengaged. I’m quite sure there are plenty of times I don’t catch it at all, but I like to pretend that doesn’t happen. And then there is lay, lie, laid and layed. I still have to look it up to see which way I’m supposed to use it. I say let’s just use “lei” and plant ourselves on a sandy island beach somewhere and call it good.
Of course, we all see grammar errors in the things we read. Most of the time, I see it, I understand how it was meant or how the mistake happened, and just go on. (Make no mistake, my brain does see it. It’s annoying sometimes that my brain can’t just let it go by.)
But I was being berated in an email this weekend, and the sender kept saying “would of” “could of” “should of”.
It took every ounce of my being not to just send a reply that said:
“HAVE. It’s HAVE. Would HAVE. Could HAVE. Should HAVE.”
This error is easy to overlook for someone that does not have English as a primary language. Because we lazy Americans say “should’ve” all the time. We do love our contractions, don’t we? And “should’ve” sounds like “should of”.
However, if you are a professional, that corresponds with others in written word on a professional basis, please, for the love of all things cute and cuddly, if you are going to berate, chastise or yell at someone in writing, it’s “SHOULD HAVE”. (To be clear, I was not being berated professionally, I was being berated by someone who also happens
It’s really quite impossible to take being chastised seriously when your brain is picking apart the person’s grammar, punctuation and spelling. I find myself thinking, “Oh wait, were you saying something I was supposed to be paying attention to?” It completely takes the punch out of it.