1. Loose Vs. Lose
This one drives a lot of people crazy, including me. In fact, it’s so prevalent among writers that I once feared I was missing something, and somehow “loose” was a proper substitute for “lose” in some other English-speaking countries. Here’s a hint: it’s not.
If your pants are too loose, you might lose your pants.
2. Me, Myself, and I
One of the most common causes of grammatical pain is the choice between “me” and “I.” Too often people use “I” when they should use “me,” because since “I” sounds stilted and proper, it must be right, right? Nope.
The easy way to get this one right is to simply remove the other person from the sentence and then do what sounds correct. You would never say “Give I a call,” so you also wouldn’t say “Give Julius and I a call.” Don’t be afraid of me.
And whatever you do, don’t punt and say “myself” because you’re not sure whether “me” or “I” is the correct choice. “Myself” is only proper in two contexts, both of which are demonstrated below.
Many consider Julius a punk, but I myself tolerate him. Which brings me to ask myself, why?
3. Different than Vs. Different from
This one slips under the radar a lot, and I’ll bet I’ve screwed it up countless times. It boils down to the fact that things are logically different from one another, and using the word “than” after different is a grammatical blunder.
This vase is different from the one I have, but I think mine is better than this one.
4. Improper Use of the Apostrophe
Basically, you use an apostrophe in two cases:
»For contractions (don’t for do not)
«To show possession (Julius’ blog means the blog belongs to Julius)
If still in doubt, leave the apostrophe out. It causes more reader confusion to insert an apostrophe where it doesn’t belong than it does to omit one. Plus, you can always plead the typo defense if you leave an apostrophe out, but you look unavoidably dumb when you stick one where it doesn’t belong.
“IT’S NOT A MISTAKE TO MAKE A MISTAKE BUT IT’S A MISTAKE TO REPEAT THE SAME MISTAKE”
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