Most Biggest Syntax Faux Pas

Everyone is tired of reading blogs and memes outlining the they’re/their/there rules, but has the world become any more intelligent? Certainly not. But, instead of being irritated or even amused by they’re/their/there mistakes, I now sink deeper into despair over America’s bleak literaturistic future. (Hey, some words that need to exist aren’t in the dictionary yet. So sue me, Toomey.) So, I’ve put together a list of the few syntax errors about which I can still laugh.

Y’all vs. Ya’ll

This is totally simple. Let’s try some basic algebra by contracting the words “can” and “not” to get “can’t”:

Start: can + not

Define the variable ‘ as no: ‘ = no

Substitute no for ‘ : can + ‘t

Finish: can’t

Okay, now that we’ve seen an example, let’s work on one that trips everyone up:

Start: you + all

Define the variable ‘ as ou: ‘ = ou

Substitute ou for ‘ : y’ + all

Finish: y’all

How would you even derive ya’ll?? How do you people go around not thinking about things?

Grey vs. Gray

Growing up with both American and British literature, this difference has tripped me up quite often. It trips up a lot of people though, because exists. Tumblr worries about this a lot, as well:

A lot vs. Alot

Let me just do you a favor and send you to Hyperbole and a Half. Oh, and, you’re welcome. A lot.

Sale vs. Sell

Let’s take a quick trip on Craigslist:
Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 11.36.41 AMScreen Shot 2014-10-01 at 11.34.36 AMScreen Shot 2014-10-01 at 11.36.18 AM

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 11.27.49 AM

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 11.28.12 AM

To use the universal colloquialism, ’nuff said.

. vs. !!!!!

This is mostly a matter of preference but as my English professor, Joe Hoppe, likes to say, “Use exclamation marks carefully or there won’t be any left for the next generation.” There is certainly a limit and it’s long before you get the chance to accidentally type the number 1 instead.

While we’re on the subject of punctuation marks,


Definitely vs. Defiantly

This is the mistake people make when they spell the word definitely incorrectly and misuse auto-spell services to come up with an entirely different word. I never know if someone is really defiant these days.

Abi vs. Abby vs. Abbey vs. Abbi

This is a serious problem. I’m not being dramatic. At all. This is simple subtraction.

Abigail – gail = Abi

Where’d all these extra letters come from? Are we in France now? We’re in the age of Ashleigh instead of Ashley, Kathrynn instead of Catherine, and Maddisyn instead of Madison, but when you spell my name please use common sense.

3 thoughts on “Most Biggest Syntax Faux Pas

  1. So satisfying reading this as a former English major and I’m the biggest grammar slacker of all English major’s (as you can probably tell by my sometimes suspect sentence structures). Always, next post should be on…the Oxford comma!


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