21 Excruciating Problems Only Grammar Nazis Will Understand

18. Trying To Decipher Your Friends€™ Messages

The Social Network - No Sense Gif Gif There€™s rarely a good way to tell your friend that you think their apostrophe usage is haphazard at best, their commas are non-existent, and their lack of proofreading is toying with your sanity. €œsophies coming to my house first to she likes your€™s so make sure you bring the wine€ Grammar and friendship are two delicate businesses, and much like work and pleasure, they ought to be kept separate. For the sake of your friendship, you know it€™s best to keep that one to yourself, even if you don€™t have a clue about half of what they were trying to say. Things to look out for: Misplaced apostrophes and commas; punctuation is usually the first thing to go out the window.

17. Hyperbole That Just Doesn€™t Make Sense

Anchorman 60 Per Cent Of The Time Gif Gif There€™s nothing wrong with hyperbole; it€™s a perfectly valid tool to help emphasise a point. When it moves from adding to your argument to detracting from it, though, the nature of the beast completely changes. A recent ad campaign from a UK clothing company (which won€™t be named) promises to help female customers find their €˜most perfect€™ lingerie, and hearing those words is enough to make your skin crawl. You ask yourself whether or not the people behind the ad realise there are no degrees of perfection, that something is perfect or imperfect. Then you begin to wonder how many people this advert must have been cleared by to be played over the speakers of however many hundreds of stores all over the country. It€™s at this point you slowly start to lose your mind, and wonder if perhaps you€™re the one taking things too far. (Only for a second, though.) Things to look out for: €˜Absolute best€™, €˜So true€™.

16. €œI Could Care Less€

Modern Family I Could Care Less Gif Gif This one€™s a little bit different, in that it€™s typically an American vs. British English scenario. For whatever reason, American English has adopted the phrasing, €œI could care less,€ whereas its British equivalent is the more literally accurate, €œI couldn€™t care less.€ Pragmatically, they both mean the same thing, no question. Semantically, on the other hand, the former makes no sense whatsoever when trying to make a point, and it€™s often the semantics of a person€™s choice of phrasing that can determine whether or not the Internet will rip them to shreds.

15. Double Negatives (When They Really Don't Make Sense)

Friends - That's Not Even A Word Gif Gif A grammar point so salient they made and named an episode of American Dad! after it. The double negative is another topic of debate amongst grammar Nazis. Some will lobby hard for their right to qualify a sentence in order to give it a particular meaning: €œJohn wasn€™t irresponsible last night, he just woke up without any trousers on.€ Others, on the hand, will fight for the black-and-white approaching, arguing that the above sentence ought to be phrased differently. It should either be, €œJohn was responsible last night, but he woke up without any trousers on,€ or, €œJohn wasn€™t responsible last night; he woke up without any trousers on.€ Either way, John€™s probably got some questions to answer. One question that both sides tend to agree on, though, is the status of double negatives like €˜irregardless€™, individual words that nullify their own meaning.
 
Posted On: 
Contributor

Movie / TV enthusiast with a DVD and Blu-ray collection bigger than I'd care to admit. If anyone is offering creative / furniture solutions to house them, I'm all ears.

Discussion