You don’t say! #PetPeeveStories

Writing and communication is a passion many of us take to task. I for one, enjoy writing. Of course, there are those who write only to rant. Why we write, is beyond this blog. How we write, however, is a pet peeve of any reader.

Spelling, grammar and syntax is unquestionably important in the composition of a sentence. And while writing requires a flow and through process (why would you want to read something that is scattered brain), it becomes disruptive when there’s so much grammatical error and misspelling.

These are my peeves, as I’m sure you have yours as well.

1. The repetition

It is wrong to use both the words “repeat” and “again” in one sentence. Whether it is written or said, they are both wrong.

Example: “Let me repeat what I told you today again.” Being repetitious is grammatically wrong.

2. Apostrophes

The apostrophe sign is NOT meant to make a word plural. And there are words that are already plural WITHOUT the letter “S”.


– Did you see that there are many troll’s in the post? (Correct: trolls)

– How much salts do we add with the sugars? (Correct: salt and sugar are both singular and plural)

3. “Literally”

When I use the term “literally”, it means it actually happened. Which is not imaginative and therefore different when I say, “figuratively” speaking.

4. Loose vs lose

You’re such a loser if you can’t figure this one out. The mere fact that they are spelled differently implies they have different meanings.

Lose is a verb. An action. To fail to win. To misplace. To free oneself.

Loose is an adjective meaning “not tight”.

Example: The country loses when we forged a bond with a company because someone with a loose cannon said it was okay.

5. Their, they’re, there

These three words are not the same.

Like loose and lose and a lot more words that “sound alike” but don’t mean the same or spelled the same, let’s just be clear on these three words.

There is the opposite of here. It means “in that place” not here. Example: Where did you park the car? I parked the car there.

Or it can mean that something exists. Example: There is a place in Berlin that we should checkout.

Their is a possessive adjective used before a noun. Emphasizing it belongs to them.

Example: Their car is a Porsche. And their kids go to an international school.

They’re is a word made up of two words – ‘they’ and ‘are’. It’s usually used before an adjective ending in ING.

Examples: They’re bringing some wine and cheese to the picnic. Personally, I think they’re a nice family.

6. Your and you’re

Are not the same. While they sound the same, they have different meanings.

Your is a possessive adjective. It shows possession and belongingness.

Example: Whatever lies and shit you did, you need to clean up your own mess.

You’re is made up of two words – ‘you’ and ‘are’. Example: If you think that the judge is sane, you’re crazier than I thought you were.

7. Affect vs. effect

Affect is a verb while effect is a noun. Affect is an action word, meaning “to act upon or produce a change or effect in, to impress or move feelings”. Example: The very hot temperature in the metro affected the delivery of the vaccines to the clinic.

Affect can be a noun when describing emotion. Example: His daughter had a sad affect after her boyfriend revealed that he was gay.

Effect is usually used as a noun. It means result or consequence of. Example: The bad breath was an effect of his vegetarian diet.

8. Its and it’s

We usually use “it’s”. Like the examples above, it’s composed of two word – ‘it’ and ‘is’.

Two words into one is called contraction. The rule of thumb here is simple – when you mean it is or it has, use an apostrophe; and when it’s a possessive, no apostrophe should be there.

Example: It’s highly unlikely that change is coming to them because the advisers have their own agenda. The people in the cabinet have demonstrated its tenacity at arriving a consensus.

9. Then and than

Then is an adverb used to situate actions in time. Or it can be a noun meaning “that time”, or an adjective meaning “at that time”.

Examples: If you don’t wake up early, then you’ll be late for class because the traffic would be bad when you leave before 6am.

I couldn’t wake up early, but then who cares?

My then life before I joined the army was a much better one.

Than is a conjunction used to make comparisons.

Example: The SALN of the congressman showed that he had made more money in 2017 than all the years from 2010-2016 combined.

10. Fish and fishes

The plural of fish is usually fish. Fishes is used only to refer to multiple species of fish. When you want to say that you saw a lot of a particular species of fish when you went snorkelling, you say you saw a school of fish.


The danggit fish at the Cebu wet market was so good.

These fish emit distress signals when a storm approaches the island.

Those most in jeopardy were the smaller fishes with eating and sheltering habits.

During the interview, the reporter usually fishes for anything unusual in the conversation between the lawmakers.

They say that the pen is mightier than the sword. I say, only when the grammar and spelling are correct. Otherwise, it becomes a painful exercise in futility.

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