Wordplay is a blog project featuring posts from students enrolled in ENG 320 Grammar and Linguistics (Fall 2019)

The Dog Days Aren’t Over

Ashley Fattig

In the last blog, we did cover many of the bad habits that we face as young writers;  however, there are still tons of bad habits that are yet to be broken. We are only human after all. Well, some of us are anyways. Snow & Zero also have some bad habits that they need to kick, so this should work out quite nicely. So, to hit the ground running:

-According to an article by Authority Pub the 6th Common Grammar Mistake that Kills Your Writing Credibility is:

Misplaced Or Dangling Modifier

First of all, what on earth is a dangling modifier?! I know we’re all thinking it! The article breaks it down as, “A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is improperly separated from the word it modifies or describes. Sentences with this error can sound awkward, ridiculous, or confusing. A dangling modifier is a word or phrase that modifies a word not clearly stated in the sentence.”(Authority Pub) Now if you’re not one for instructions, here are some examples to show rather than tell.

EXAMPLES:

Incorrect: While catching snowflakes on the porch, a bee stung Snow.  

Correct: While catching snowflakes on the porch, Snow was stung by a bee.

 

This is an easy mistake to make because we often write so quickly that the sentence makes sense in our minds, but not quite so much when putting pen to paper. One solution for this bad habit is a peer editing method. Have someone, absolutely anyone, read your paper over. Ask them if anything sticks out, or if something doesn’t make sense. Still unsure? Ask another person! You can never be too thorough on a proof read. If you don’t have anyone to ask, or you don’t feel comfortable sharing your writing yet, put it aside for a day or two, let the words flow from your mind, and then pick it back up and try reading it to yourself aloud. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to give ourselves a break. Which is exactly what Snow will be doing for a while after that sting!

Pet Peeves

Another set of bad habits that we make in grammar are a series of small quips that we acquire over time. These are the grammar pet peeves that will get you trouble where it counts!

According to an article by Steve Shannon,  the 4th Most Annoyingly Bad Grammar Habits We Wish Would Stop is:

I Seen

Personally, when I hear “I seen”, I think of nails on a chalkboard. Eek! It’s okay! We all fall into these habits. Often times because of our surroundings, and hearing these phrases regularly, we associate the common phrase in our vocabularies. There is hope, though! Let’s take a second to break down the difference between “seen” and “saw”. According to an article by Writing Explained, “Seen is the past participle of the verb see, and it is used to form the perfect tenses: present perfect, past perfect, etc.” Whereas, “Saw is the past tense of the verb see. It forms the simple past, which is used to express an action that has started and finished at a specific time in the past.”

Examples:

Incorrect: I seen Snow eat the entire box of doggie biscuits.                                 

Correct: I saw Snow eat the entire box of doggie biscuits.

Also Correct: I have seen Snow eat an entire box of doggie

biscuits, and then throw up on Mom’s rug.

 

Another pet peeve of grammar according to Grammarist.com:

I Could Care Less

“When people say I could care less, they usually mean they actually could not care less, or, more precisely, that they don’t care. Considered logically, being able to care less means one does care to some degree, while being unable to care less means one cares very little if at all.” (Grammarist)

Examples:

Incorrect: Mom said to get off the recliner, but I could care less.

Correct: Mom said to get off the recliner, but I couldn’t care less.

Also Correct: Mom said to get off the recliner, but I don’t care.

 

-According to the article by Authority Pub the 9th Common Grammar Mistake that Kills Your Writing Credibility is:

Run-On Sentences

 Most people don’t have a complete understanding as to what a run-on sentence is. They usually just think of a really long sentence that rambles. This article explains it as, “A run-on sentence occurs when you connect two main clauses with no punctuation.” (Authority Pub)

Examples:

Incorrect: Zero tried to eat the spaghetti from the stove but Mom caught him.

Correct: Zero tried to eat the spaghetti from the stove, but Mom caught him and bopped his nose.

Don’t chase your tail in circles trying to figure this all out in a day. Baby steps, and some positive reinforcement go a long way!


References:

“15 Common Grammar Mistakes That Kill Your Writing Credibility.” (2019, September 24). Retrieved from https://authority.pub/common-grammar-mistakes

Grammarist. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://grammarist.com/usage/could-care-less

“Seen vs. Saw: What’s the Difference?” (2017, April 19). Retrieved from https://writingexplained.org/seen-vs-saw-difference

Shannon, Steve. (2017, September 17). “Annoyingly Bad Grammar Habits We Wish Would Stop.” Retrieved from https://97zokonline.com/annoyingly-bad-grammar-habits-we-wish-would-stop

All photos by Ashley Fattig


Ashley Fattig is a senior at CSC. She is originally from Alliance, NE, but chose CSC because of the affordability and distance from home. She currently studies General Business with a minor in writing, and works at First National Bank of North Platte and would like to pursue mortgage banking after graduation.

7 thoughts on “Wordplay: The Dog Days Aren’t Over

  1. Ashley,
    I absolutely love reading your blogs! Mostly for the adorable pictures of your puppies, but also because you point out some really common mistakes that drive me nuts! These mistakes are made by everyone, which means as a future elementary teacher I will have be on the lookout for students using improper grammar. Your suggestions on how to fix these common errors when talking or writing will be very useful for me in the classroom and your example of showing the incorrect compared to the correct is one that will be very beneficial to my students and myself. The grammatical mistakes that everyone makes can be quite frustrating, but as I have learned from our readings this semester this could just be the way a person talks based on their language, culture, and region they live or come from. These are things that I will have to consider when helping students correct their grammar.

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  2. Ashley, I love your blog post. I love that you use your dogs for your blog posts. It always makes them so fun to read. I have to agree with your pet peeves. I hate when I hear someone say “seen” I instantly correct them when I do. It is easy to fall into these habits though. The example of snow getting stung by a bee is so interesting to me. I find myself making the same mistake in a lot of my own writing. Great work!

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  3. Ashley,
    I love reading your blog posts. I really like how you relate grammar to your dogs. It makes it more entertaining and fun to read. It keeps the readers interested in reading it because it is related to real life. The pet peeves that you listed are said or done by many people today. I feel like that is happening because people weren’t around the right grammar or weren’t taught the right grammar. I have to agree one of the biggest peeve of mine is the word “seen.” Its okay to say it like that, but I think it sound weird and incorrect. Their are many people that say it like that today.

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  4. Ashley,
    I am such a big fan of your blog posts! They make me laugh and the visuals are definitely a huge plus! 🙂 I really liked how you broke down dangling modifiers. I remember reading about them and discussing them in class, but it was much easier to understand the term from reading your blog, so thanks! I also really liked how relatable your “Pet Peeves” section was. I have always had such a hard time listening to and conversing with people that use “seen”, rather than “I saw”, and I cannot help but correct their bad grammar!
    Good post!

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  5. Ashley,

    I love how you structured the content in your blog post regarding your dogs! They are absolutely adorable and it looks like we all have some bad habits to kick, as you mentioned!

    All of the “Pet Peeves” you mentioned in your blog make me cringe when I see or hear them! For example, sometimes I see a meme on Facebook that has funny or valuable content and I want to share it on my wall, but it has one of these incorrect examples you have provided and I can’t bring myself to share it. The most common mistake you mentioned that comes across my Facebook wall is, “I couldn’t care less” vs. “I could care less.” I am honestly surprised how often this mistake occurs in writing and language because it seems so logical in my mind. In this blog site, I wrote about this common mistake and explained how my mind manipulates this idea.

    I believe the “I seen” mistake you talked about occurs more often in language than it does writing. It is not very often that I come across a paper, meme, or any sort of writing that says “I seen;” however, this is a common mistake to hear when someone is speaking. This makes me wonder if it sounds wrong once a person puts pen to paper, but they do not acknowledge it when they are speaking because it seems natural to them. It is something to think about and pay attention to because it is a common language mistake that needs to be corrected.

    Thank you for sharing this blog! I genuinely enjoyed reading it and viewing the pictures of your dogs!

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  6. Ashley,
    I love how you connected your topic with the dogs again! It was a fun read! The mistakes discussed are simple mistakes that are definitely easy to make. Another thing that could make these so common are the constant new exceptions to many rules that are constantly having to be kept in mind.
    Great topic!

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  7. Ashley,
    What an amazing post! The inclusion of your dogs to create a personal touch to your writing as well as play into your audience of college students is great. In addition to this however I really appreciate your mentions of commonly misspoken grammar as well as written. As a future elementary school teacher it is important to speak clearly and correct spoken grammar as this will inevitably transfer into their writing.

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