General Question

marissa's avatar

What is your most embarrassing grammatical mistake?

Asked by marissa (2659points) September 22nd, 2008

It could involve grammar, punctuation or whatever you like. This question almost ended up being mine, luckily I used ‘mm’ instead of ‘m’ in grammatical.

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42 Answers

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

I often mix up ‘then’ and ‘than.’ Or I used too, anyway. I think I’ve gotten better about it.

trudacia's avatar

I always confuse “effect” and “affect”. I know affect should only be used as a verb? Effect is nearly always a noun? Right? I forget…..

I’m not really embarrassed though…sorry.

AstroChuck's avatar

I accidentally knocked up a preposition years ago. Still paying for it today.

marissa's avatar

I just have to confess that if I hadn’t checked first, my question would have read “What is your most embarassing gramatical mistake?”

aanuszek1's avatar

Up until now, I’ve been saying “defiantly” instead of definitely. Thanks to gail for correcting me :)

kapuerajam's avatar

what is yer talkin, aboot?

Celeste00's avatar

It’s not a grammatical mistake as much as a typo, but I usually put a space before “it” in the wrong place. So I’ll say “go tit”, instead of “got it”. Makes me giggle.

tinyfaery's avatar

I can’t say this enough times…as long as you get your point across, and I don’t have to spend extra time deciphering text speak or extremely long run-on sentences, I have no problems with bad spelling, grammar or punctuation. I’m certainly not embarrassed when I’m less than perfect. I accept you all, writing flaws and all. :)

wildflower's avatar

Does leaving out a word count as a grammatical mistake? If so, the worst was when my boss chatted me and asked how I was. I forgot the ‘good’ in “I’m pretty good”.

marissa's avatar

@wildflower, yes, that counts. That is hysterical!

autumn43's avatar

I type dyslexically sometimes. The worst one is ‘this’ becomes ‘shit’. Of course, that doesn’t make sense most of the time….and it is embarassing on my work reports…but I usually catch it before it gets printed and put in a medical record. :0)

Seesul's avatar

Well, if reading mistakes count, this morning I misread Oxford Comma as Oxford Coma and opened up the question to find out what kind of medical condition it was.

generalspecific's avatar

Well if speech counts, I once went to a restaurant and tried to get chicken strips.
What I ended up saying, was “strippin’ chicks”.
That was weird.

wildflower's avatar

@marissa: thankfully she thought so too :)

generalspecific's avatar

@autumn: I do that with the word “shirt” too.
I once turned in a paper about some lost gold on a ship, and I definitely put something about “booty found on the shit” instead of ship.
and I did it again trying to type it just now! I’ll never learn.

asmonet's avatar

@Gen: I would have given you an ‘A’.

chyna's avatar

This happened to my boss, and I did see the email. Her boss emailed her and about 8 others to ask how their evaluations were going. Instead of “evaluation” he wrote “masterbation”. This is in a very stuff shirted company, and when he realized it, he tried to recall the email. We tried to figure out how he couldve had his hands on the wrong keys or if the spell check changed it for him, but we never figured it out.

marissa's avatar

@chyna, it sounds like his mind was someplace else

Celeste00's avatar

One that made a bunch of people at my former job laugh was, I had to write comments in the cover of a file, that goes around the whole office, and instead of “citizenship” I wrote “citizenshit”. Not sure where that came from.

generalspecific's avatar

@asmonet: haha, thanks. I don’t remember if she actually took points off, but just getting it back with “shit” right in the middle of the page circled with red pen.

girlofscience's avatar

I accidentally slipped an apostrophe in a plural word in an email to a professor once.

JackAdams's avatar

Someone (and I don’t know who it was, but I have ways of finding out!) took a Polaroid® photograph, several years ago, of me in a high school locker room, dangling my participle.

It’s been on the Internet, since 2003.

MacBean's avatar

Not exactly grammar, but I have typo’d “socks” as “cocks” in an IM to my grandmother. She was complaining that it was cold in her house, so I advised her to put on a pair of warm cocks.

chyna's avatar

Where exactly is that located on the internet JackAdams? Just kidding!

JackAdams's avatar

Thank Gawd!

I wouldn’t want anyone to see my participle dangling!

augustlan's avatar

Years ago my boss (a very modest gentleman) worked up a large proposal to do a project for the Department of Public Works, and throughout he mis-typed it as Department of Pubic Works. Luckily, I caught it before it went out in the mail. He was mortified.

While speaking to the vice president of my husband’s employer, I was doing my very best to be impressive for my husband’s sake. We had quite an intelligent conversation which soon turned to children. When he told me he had five children, ranging in age from 4 to 25 years of age, I replied in my most thoughtful voice, “Oh, so you had them pretty farly apart.” sound of crickets Our conversation came to an abrupt end.

AstroChuck's avatar

That “pubic” mistake reminds me of a prank I played as a kid. A friend and myself snuck over to the entrance of a gated community called “Ocean Pines”, the name of which was in big brass letters on the stucco wall just outside. We removed the “I” and the “E” from the wall and then swapped them and put them back up. The best thing was it wasn’t caught for a couple of days.
Not exactly on topic, but funny, though.

augustlan's avatar

Classic, AC!

lapilofu's avatar

@trudacia: Affect and effect are actually each a verb and a noun, though you’re right that affect is more frequently used in its verb form and effect more frequently as a noun.

To discuss someone’s affect, is to talk about their expressed emotional state.
To affect something is to change it.
To discuss an effect is to talk about some change that came about as a result of something else.
To effect something is to make it—to bring it into existence.

See here.

AstroChuck's avatar

Because of the confusion between affect and effect many books on grammar now say that both are interchangeable. Still, I hate when these hard and fast rules that I’d learned throughout school are now considered obsolete.

lapilofu's avatar

I think to a larger extent than people realize, the precision of language is actually important. I agree with Orwell when he said, ”[Language] becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.”

autumn43's avatar

Well, in my work, ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ are not interchangeable and my reports had best have it right. If not, I will hear about it – which would affect my ability to effect the changes I need to make! :0)

e.g. “The patient’s affect may have been due to the medication effects.”

Seesul's avatar

What about weary and leery?
weary |ˈwi(ə)rē|
adjective ( wearier , weariest )
feeling or showing tiredness, esp. as a result of excessive exertion or lack of sleep : he gave a long, weary sigh. .
• reluctant to see or experience any more of; tired

adjective ( leerier, leeriest)
cautious or wary due to realistic suspicions

AC, I personally know of a case where “The Wherehouse” had one letter changed late on a Saturday night. It was across the street from a church. The perpetrators weren’t aware of that fact, until they came back on Sunday morning to see if it was still up. It was.

augustlan's avatar

I see people using “weary” when they really mean “wary”.

girlofscience's avatar

@augustlan: YIKES!!!

Seesul's avatar

Your right, Augustian, thanks, brain freeze here. I hear all 3 being interchanged.

goldie008's avatar

A minor mixup in words was decades ago when I saw a new doctor and he asked routinely about my medical history, if I’d had any operations, etc., to which I replied, “Yes, a tubal litigation.” He laughed and corrected me: a tubal ligation. Imagine going to court over a tubal op.!

sweetie432's avatar

when my now boyfriend and I had just started talking on msn I was retelling a story about a mutual friend that I sat beside in science class. My typing skills are horrible so I ended up saying ” we shat together”

autumn43's avatar

nothing like a good shat between friends!

AstroChuck's avatar

The word “shat” has always made me laugh. Everytime I see or hear the name “William Shatner” I chuckle to myself. Of course that’s the way the French word for cat (chat) sounds. That brings to mind Dr. Seuss’s Shat In The Hat.

atlantis's avatar

All of them man! unless they sound hip and cool. Very tricky language is…

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