We Type A’s are a prickly bunch, so it is quite easy to agitate us with something as seemingly harmless as a common grammar mistake. To not run afoul of one of us, I am providing some grammar tips.
These are the mistakes that most annoy me personally:
Although this word has begun to gain more acceptance over the years, the proper word is “sneaked.” You sneaked into the house late at night.
There’s no rest for the weary
While the above saying has a certain allure, the correct idiom is, “There’s no rest for the wicked.” It comes from the Bible, Isaiah 57.
The more correct usage is “quote, endquote.” When spoken, it goes like this: “What do you think of the President’s quote endquote War on Terror?” Or, it might be easier to simply say his “so-called” War on Terror.
A couple, a few, several, many
A couple is 2, a few is 3, several is 4 or more, and many is not so precise, but it is the greatest quantity on this list.
Much vs. many, less vs. fewer
Now we’re really having some fun! Much and less should be used when something is not countable, e.g., water, sand, advice. Many and fewer are appropriate when something is countable, e.g., days, oranges, children. As an example, I may have much advice, and fewer children, but I don’t have less children—got it?
OK, that ends the grammar lesson for today. If you are good, I won’t have to write another post like this, in which I torture you with such things as when to it is appropriate to use “who” vs. “whom.” We Type A’s are finicky, but not cruel!