Saturday, 2 April 2011

Grammar Nazi Part 2

Following a recent bus stop conversation with my boyfriend and the incompetence of some of my teachers, I was inspired to make a second part of basic grammar mistakes that annoy the hell out of me.

     1. Principle and Principal - An easy one to distinguish if you think about it, which seems like the catchphrase for most of the mistakes out there. To clarify:
    • Principle - An accepted or professed rule of action or conduct. For example, "One of my principles is not to kill; you are making it hard to adhere to with your bad grammar."
    • Principal - As an adjective it is the first or highest in rank, importance, value, etc.; chief or foremost. For example, "My principal principle is not to lie".
A teacher in my school was prattling on about the importance of writing our dissertations correctly, using "appropriate grammar" and "intellectual diction"... She actually posed principle and principal as an example for someone was talking about the principals behind the justice system. Her wise, caring words protecting the English language were still echoing in my ears when she handed me my draft back. And our dear friend Murphy stroke again: she had made the mistake that she had just preached about in a side note written on my paper.

     2. Effect and Affect - Two very different words that are also easily misused. To clarify:
    • Effect - It is something that is produced by an agency or cause, a result, a consequence. For example, "This blog post has had a deep effect on me."
    • Affect - This means to act on; produce an effect or change in. For example, "I have been affected by a very wise blogger".
That said, I have probably made mistakes in this post (Murphy loves me). Feel free to correct me and post your own grammar nazi advice in the comments.

All the definitions are taken from Just sayin'.

The Polyopinonist