Some things in life serve only to induce rage. No matter how small these annoyances may be, they are never insignificant. 'Rant List' is the chronicle of one self-loathing narcissist's seemingly unending pettiness.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

22. Using "would of" instead of "would have"

^ An extract from the next Twilight book

Now, I am a perpetual 'grammar Nazi'* and I realise that my constant years of language correction are going to result in a horribly embarrassing experience where I write 'their' instead of 'there' in some article and get ridiculed for the rest of my life. But hey, that's karma. In the meantime however, I am going to continue to correct people until they learn each and every inconsistency of their patchwork language and brandish them in whichever part of the brain handles grammar rules.

On that note, every time I read 'would of' instead of 'would have', a part of what little remains of my soul dies. I understand where it's arisen from and there is some logic behind it. If you were speaking the abbreviated form of 'would have', you'd say "would've" which sounds an awful lot like 'would of'. So, working from the spoken representation, you would end up writing 'would of'. But surely, at some point, you'd look at 'would of' and think "Wait a second. 'Of' doesn't have the same meaning as 'have'. What have I been doing with my life?!" I'll tell you what you've been doing. You've been losing SPAG** marks on every essay, exam and academic piece you've ever written. I hope you're proud of yourself, you git-wizard.

*For the two of you have not heard this term before, it effectively means that I am as passionate about the difference between 'your' and 'you're' as Hitler was about the difference between Aryans and normal humans... possibly with less genocide.

**Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar as opposed to spag-bog. Mmmm.

3 comments:

  1. oh and *brandish them in whichever....

    not "in to".

    incidentally, I read an article recently saying "syntax is neurologically segregated, and its component parts are housed in several distinct cerebral loci that extend beyond the traditional ones — Broca's and Wernicke's regions in the left hemisphere. In particular, the new brain map for syntax implicates portions of the right cerebral hemisphere."

    So you'll have your work cut out for you there.

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  2. This isn't fair, you're a linguist. I'm just an anthropologist looking for distractions from anthropology. Mistakes duly noted, corrected and forever remembered.

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