Day 2: Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at. Take any approach you’d like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic).
I can’t help it. I’m going to go full out English nerd here. Those of you who hate grammar, please move along. Be forewarned, dear reader: I will be judging poor use of grammar.
Prepare to be educated.
Your vs. You’re
Let us consider the difference between “your” and “you’re.” The first is a possessive, indicating something that belongs to you: your dog, your house, your poor use of grammar. The second refers to the contraction of “you are”; for example, you’re bad at grammar and you’re going to singlehandedly ruin the English language. WHEN IN DOUBT, ask yourself if the word can be lengthened to “you are.” Your house or you are house? Clearly the answer is your. Is it your a great man or you are a great man? Since we can lengthen it if we want, we would use the contraction.
There vs. Their vs. They’re
THERE: indicates place. “Put the hammer down over there.”
THEIR: indicates possession. “It was their idea to bring a hammer anyway.”
THEY’RE: a contraction of they are. “They’re going to hurt someone with that hammer!”
There is a special circle of hell for those who think they’re entitled to their own rules of grammar.
Its vs. It’s
Its: Belonging to it. “The apartment has its own air conditioning unit.”
It’s: A contraction of it is. “It’s kind of cold today.”
Can we lengthen the word to it is? “The apartment has it is own air conditioning unit.” Nope. Then no apostrophe.
These issues are the epitome of pet peeve to me. There are others – many others – but for the sake of brevity, I will only include these issues. Be careful out there. Remember: grammar can be life or death.