When Grammar Lessons Go Sideways

recite-31217--1769395064-1uan4o1It’s late afternoon. I’m sitting in the living room with my family waiting for bedtime. And dinner. But mostly bedtime.

I am still in school-mode and mention something about grammar and using past tense to my husband, who’s trying to complete the New York Times crossword puzzle in less than twenty-four hours.

Like my husband, my son William ignores my grammar comment; instead, he continues building his Lego armoury.

Vivian, however, looks up from her Lego school. “What’s past tense?” she asks.

I explain using examples. “I eat a banana when I’m hungry,” I say. “But yesterday I…”

Vivian fills in the blank. “Ate a banana.”

I smile and continue with a second example. “Today I drive my car, ” I say. “But yesterday I…”

Drove my car,” she says.

Clearly fearing that I’m going to offer examples until bedtime, Vivian says, “You sound like my teacher.”

It doesn’t sound like a compliment. I look up and catch my husband rolling his eyes in mock annoyance at my teacher-self.

“Do you know what past tense is?” I ask him.

“Yeah,” he says. “I was married. I was happy before I got married.”

Any grammar errors that annoy you?
Do you do crosswords? Sudokus? sarcasm?

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  1. says

    My biggest pet peeve is people who use “me” when it should be “I” and “I” when it should be “me”. Both are equally annoying!

    Examples: Sharon and I went to the store. (not me & Sharon). Peg went to the store with Sharon & me. (not Sharon & I).

    And yes, I do all three – I am fluent in sarcasm!

  2. rgerryts says

    Grammar is just a state of mind that sometimes I attain, and sometimes I can’t quite reach. It’s not important to me, no do I appreciate it when people point out my failed attempts at grammar nirvana. I’m happy we don’t live in a Grammar Police State, and that the Grammar Police are not inside of my head.

  3. says

    I am terrified of saying “your welcome” in print … so I usually avoid making the mistake and write “you are very welcome” instead because “you’re welcome” seems wrong.

  4. says

    “Gots ta”. As in “I gots ta go pee.” I had a friend that used “gots ta” a lot.

    Notice my past tense above. And now I’m heading to the bathroom.

  5. says

    I’m a wicked word nerd. My recent peeve is when people use “I” as an object pronoun. “Pat and Jim invited my husband and I over for dinner.” WRONG! It should be “my husband and me.” Although one should never use “it sound right” as the litmus test, this one actually works: “Pat and Jim invited me over for dinner.” Correct. So if Pat & Jim included your spouse at dinner, you’re still “me,” the object of the verb “invited.” Maybe it was more fun, maybe it wasn’t. At least someone else did the cooking.

    I love Lady Gaga, but I can barely listen to her song “You & I” because she ought to be saying “You & Me,” but she says “you & I” over and over to infinity….

  6. says

    In writing, yes. Grammar errors bug me. Speaking, though? Not really. I dated a guy in college that was majorly OCD, and it used to kill him when people would use split infinitives. I truly didn’t even know what that WAS until I met him (yes I was an English Major in college . . . what?), so would do it all the time and drive him nuts. Fun times.

    I do not do crosswords or any puzzles. I do enjoy some nice sarcasm every now and again. Usually with a nice Chianti.

  7. says

    Us TEACHers never stop TEACHing, do we? My poor son has two TEACHers as parents. He can never catch a break from all the TEACHing we feel we need to give him. Geez…
    As you can tell, I can’t relate to this post at all, Leanne!

  8. Darryl Haugen says

    My son constantly says throwed instead of threw. I find the need to correct him everytime. Is that not what mother’s are for? Sarcasm was implemented into my brain as I came rushing out of the birthing canal. Thanks to mother.

  9. says

    There are a lot of grammar mistakes that bug me but I think the worst offender is it’s / its. I saw it written wrong on a billboard once. I don’t remember what the billboard was advertising, but I remember that mistake.
    Sarcasm is my favorite art form.

  10. says

    Doesn’t annoy me, but all of our kids went through/are in an “amn’t” stage, as in “Dad, Reed’s hitting me!”/”No I amn’t!” Tax Credit #4 is fully engaged in the amn’t stage now, in fact, and Hellcat still dawdles there once in a while.

    You’ve probably heard/seen this before, but it’s funny every time. Comedian Brian Regan talking about some of the rules of grammar:


    K-A-T. I’m outta here.

  11. says

    I have found love in Sarcasm puzzles. Right Sheldon? I am guiltied of so many grammar missteps. Your husbands comeback sounded like a Red Skelton line : ‘Yes, I married Miss Right. I just didn’t know her first name was ‘Always’.

  12. says

    I teach middle school andI occasionally see some very interesting conjugations! I laughed very loudly when I readed your husband’s comment! hahahahaha.. you were probably happy, too!

  13. says

    I think it’s funny when people (particularly those who are trying to sound smart!) use the reflexive “myself” to avoid making a mistake with I and Me.

    “You can hand your paper to either Mr. Smith or myself.”
    Nope. Not so much.

  14. says

    I get bugged by authors who create new compound adverbs by liberally strewing hyphens between perfectly ordinary plain English words that don’t need ’em. Gives the word ‘tense’ a whole other dimension…

  15. says

    I recently posted on facebook that I would like to become a grammer geek. I take it back. It makes me CRAZY when someone says “I seen that”. However after reading the me and I post from Aimee, my head hurts. I barely notice grammer mistakes in print, but when people are talking and break one of the rules that I know it annoy’s me. If you sound un educated to me, chances are you did not graduate from 8th grade…haha.

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