I love grammar. I'm still learning all the time. My mom was a grammar genius, and I learned a lot from her--but not nearly enough. Still, I learned enough to keep on learning! I don't know why it intrigues me, but it does. I'm anxious to hear the lessons you might want to share with me!
So let's get started, kids!
Did you know that if you say you "feel badly" it means the nerve endings in your fingertips are not functioning properly? If you are under the weather, or feeling guilty about something, you feel "bad"--not badly.
Did you know that if your stomach is upset, you are nauseated--not nauseous? If you say, "I'm nauseous!" it means you're nauseating to others. (Which could be the case, but it's unlikely.)
Did you know that "irregardless" is not a word? It's regardless, plain and simple.
Did you know that "It's" (with apostrophe) is always short for "it is" or "it has"? Always. The apostrophe replaces the missing letters. If you're talking about "its" in the possessive form (ex: "I replaced its batteries yesterday!") there is no apostrophe.
Did you know that it's incorrect to say, "Send the list to Mark and myself." Don't be afraid to use the word, "ME"! That should be "...Mark and me" -- not Mark and myself, not Mark and I. An easy test is this: Simply remove the other person/people in the equation. For example: Would you say, "Send the list to myself" or "Send the list to I"? (Please tell me you wouldn't. For the love of God. Please!) No, of course you wouldn't! You would say, "Send the list to me." So there you have it! You just remove the other person in the sentence and you magically have your answer! Easy-peasy.
Did you know that alright is incorrect? It's all right--two words.
Did you know that one thing is different from another? (Not different than?) Why? Because one thing differs from another. It doesn't differ than something, right?
You still with me? (Yeah, and probably getting ready to slit your wrists at this point...)
Did you know that you could've done that? (As in "could have"?) Could of is what "could've" sounds like... but it's not how you should write it. Same goes with "should've" -- it's not should of.
Did you know that definite is the only way to spell that word? I swear I see it spelled "definate" (or a variety of other ways) at least ten times each day.
Did you know the word "Her's" (with an apostrophe) does not exist? The word is hers.
Did you know that you lie down for a nap... that you lay down yesterday for a nap (past tense), and that you have lain down for quite awhile? But that book over there? I'm going to lay it down on the table, even though you laid it down on the counter first. Lie, lay, lain... misused constantly, a thousand times a day... in virtually every book, song, article, conversation out there! (A pet peeve of mine. Can you tell?)
There's even a song that you can teach your kids, if you're so inclined (where so inclined equals seriously in need of a life):
And with that, friends, I'm lying down for a nap in a few minutes. And I'm not lying. Heh.