Thursday, February 2, 2012
"Top Ten Grammar Peeves"
1. Both affect and effect can be a noun or verb, depending on context. (What is the effect if we effect this change? And: Her lack of affect affects my feelings for her.)
2. Some plurals are formed with apostrophes. (He has 2's written all over his binder. I can't distinguish between his b's and his d's.) This is changing, though; not long ago we wrote 1920's. Now it's 1920s.
3. Irregardless is a word--it's just a word we don't like and have labeled "nonstandard."
Some of the others are just matters of preference. When I was a kid, I spent lots of time in school learning the difference between will and shall; I don't know too many people now who observe that difference.
The thing to remember is this: Moses did not bring usage and punctuation rules down from the mountain. We made them up. And we're constantly changing our minds.