I do not know why, but these things bother me when I read them. I am not just talking about text messages on cellular phones — I understand that the medium itself is scarcely conducive to good writing (although I authorize anyone to slap me if they ever receive a text message from me containing any of the grammar mistakes or misspells listed below). I am talking about electronic mail messages, letters, blog posts, scientific preprints, CVs, internal departmental memos, and other (semi)official documents which eventually become part of public record.
In these cases, I think some minimal attention should be expected of the writer. Unfortunately, the more of these I encounter, the more I worry that they may display the same carelessness in other areas of relevance to me. And, while I am willing to cut some slack for the occasional poor grammar (it can happen), modern spell checkers make it difficult to forgive misspells.
So, these are my favorite grammar/spelling pet peeves (in parentheses the correct version):
10. Recieve(d) (received).
9. Wierd (weird)
8. Definately (definitely)
7. Accessable (accessible)
6. Belive (believe)
5. Independant (independent — I know, both dependant and dependent are acceptable, but only independent is correct. Hey, I did not make the rules…)
4. rite (A religious rite is one thing, the religious right another).
OK… ready for the top three ?
3. Plural’s (It’s plurals for Pete’s sake, nothing here belongs to Mr. Plural).
2. Who am I kidding here ? (I know, whom has been in a coma for decades and should perhaps be humanely put to sleep, but I just cannot bring myself to do it).
And now for the one that really drives me nuts…
1. Its simple: if you write it’s instead of its and vice versa, the sentence loses it’s meaning (It’s simple… its meaning. Same goes for you’re versus your, their versus they’re).
Which one(s) have I left out ?