Grammar Cop or Grammar Criminal? Find out!

imagesHave you ever silently corrected someone’s grammar? Have you ever averted your eyes so someone wouldn’t see you rolling them when they mispronounced a word? Finally, do you judge people based on their punctuation and sentence structure?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions then you may unwittingly be a member of the grammar police. Or, perhaps, you are a confirmed, card-carrying, proud part of a group which, although isn’t, should be a legitimate branch of law enforcement.

So, for all of you who keep your badge to “Serve and Correct” pinned securely to your shirt pocket, I have compiled a list of offenses that would make even a rookie grammar cops knowingly smirk and shake their heads.

I have broken these violations into three categories because that’s what we do—we organize.

Words That Aren’t Words:

 Irregardless—Nope, doesn’t exist. Regardless of how many times you say it, it won’t make it a word.

Ain’t—Yes, I know we all should know, but, sadly, I still hear it.

Yoons—Not sure of the spelling since it isn’t a word, but it is sort of like ya’ll for North to Midwesterners. It is a contraction for nothing; it means nothing (sorry dad).

Boughten—As in the past tense of bought. I had “boughten” the milk yesterday. No.

Brang—Past tense of bring, of course. I “brang” the cookies but not my ability to speak correctly.

Alls—”Alls” I know is it is very popular, but it still doesn’t make it a word.

Unsensitive—Someone who doesn’t care that the word is actually insensitive.

Worser—If I continue the list will only get “worser” so I will stop with this one.


Mispronounced Words:

Probly instead of probably

 Libary instead of library

 Fustrate instead of frustrate

 Supposably instead of supposedly

 Birfday instead of birthday

Seriously, there is NO “F.” EVER!

Probly instead of probably

Fustrate instead of frustrate

Supposably instead of supposedly

Aks instead of ask

Upmost instead of utmost


Bad Grammar:

Drugged vs. dragged

I drugged him across the floor. Unless you were giving him morphine shots along the way, you dragged him across the floor.


Subject verb agreement

They was always laughing. Yes, they were laughing at your grammatical mistake.


Incorrect compound subject

Between you and I, me and her talked. Between you and me, she and I should learn better grammar.


Adverbs’ missing “ly”

Drive safe and work careful. No, drive safely and work carefully to learn better syntax.


Double negatives

I am not doing nobody a favor. Of course, you are not doing anyone a favor by speaking incorrectly.


Mixing up homophones

They’re not taking their books there and you’re not taking your books either.

Sound the same, not the same. Learn the difference.


Doesn’t and Don’t

He don’t care about grammar and it doesn’t bother me. Okay, it does… a lot! Yes, a lot is two words (in case you were wondering).


Imply and Infer

I implied from what she said that she inferred I was dumb. No, I implied you weren’t the smartest, you inferred that I called you dumb. Still doesn’t make sense? Look it up. Please!


As fellow members of this particular task force know, this list is hardly exhaustive. It is, however, some of the top infractions of grammatical correctness.

Don’t misunderstand, I am fully aware and understanding of the fact that we all make our share of gaffes, goofs, and grammatical errors, but if we don’t stop soon we will all start saying words that ain’t words.

Thank you for reading. I’m excited to hear what you think.

5 thoughts on “Grammar Cop or Grammar Criminal? Find out!

  1. I wear that badge, and totally agree with you. We have gotten lazy. I cringe when people exchange es for ex, as in especially. Can’t believe this one didn’t make your list. Nails on a chalkboard to me.

  2. We have gotten lazy??? American English only I’m afraid. We have become lazy would be fine either side of the pond.

  3. One of your finest posts, Miss Parnell! So smart and funny, yet sadly, it appears that some folks intentionally misspeak for sport. My father is one of the gleeful offenders. Yours?

  4. Thank you, Ms. Brockway! I would say that sadly most don’t do if for sport but rather for a lack of knowledge of the English language. If you listen closely, you can hear the great writers of our time and past crying. 🙂

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About Sherry Parnell