Language maven and podcaster Grammar Girl, a.k.a. Mignon Fogarty, compiled a list of the Top Five Language Pet Peeves, as submitted by her listeners and chosen by her.
Numbers 5 and 4 were two of my biggest pet peeves, and to be honest, I had never heard of numbers 3 – 1. Here they are.
5. Carelessness – Just general carelessness. Misuse and misspellings in professionally produced materials and errors in comment posts where people are talking about their peeves. (Translation: if you complain about peeves in a grammar blog, make sure you use proper grammar yourself.)
I have seen a number of mistakes that should never have been made, including news casters – professional communicators who ought to know better – using "further" instead of "farther," or say "you and I" when they should say "you and me."
Also, we who hate carelessness are tired of being called pedantic for their concern for language. (Translation: We're not a bunch of uptight grammar Nazi A-holes. This name calling is something up with which we shall not put.)
4. Myself – Don't use "myself" unless you're talking about yourself. This is not a suitable substitute for "me" or "I."
"Give a copy of the report to myself." "Refer all calls to Sarah or myself." "Steve and myself went to Hooters." These are incorrect. If you can use "me" or "I" in the sentence, use it. Don't say "myself."
There's nothing that makes me jump up and down, shouting, "No. No! NO!" more than hearing people use "myself" incorrectly.
I don't want to steal all of Grammar Girl's thunder, so you'll have to visit the transcript page, or even download the Grammar Girl podcast, to find the last three pet peeves.
If you're a gramar geek (or even if you're not), you can subscribe to the Grammar Girl podcasts via iTunes.
Like this column? Leave a comment, Digg it, or Stumble it.