Do you have a member of the Grammar Police force in your life? I mean, aside from ME? If you do, you’ve probably been corrected for your misuse of some obscure grammar rule…and NOW, it’s time to correct them back!
The problem with many hard-fast yet uncommon grammar rules is that many of them no longer apply! Here are FIVE of our most favourite grammar MYTHS and the new FACTS which have replaced them.
MYTH #1: NEVER SPLIT INFINITIVES
FACT: A split infinitive occurs when you place an adverb between a “full infinitive” as in “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Guess what? It is perfectly fine to do this!
MYTH #2: PASSIVE VOICE IS ALWAYS WRONG.
FACT: Even, and especially, the Grammar Police know that there is no such concept as “always” in the world of English grammar! It is just fine to use the passive voice (as in “mistakes were made”) when the subject isn’t named. In other cases, avoiding passive voice almost always makes your writing more interesting.
MYTH #3: NEVER END A SENTENCE WITH A PREPOSITION
FACT: Sometimes, it’s best to write the way you speak, which of COURSE will be grammatically correct, right? Let’s look at this sentence: I have so much to be happy about. If we were to change this sentence to make it “grammatically correct” it would read “I have so much about which I am happy.” YUCK! Go with whichever sounds best.
MYTH #4: NEVER BEGIN A SENTENCE WITH “AND,” “BUT,” “OR,” AND “HOWEVER”
FACT: Using these words to begin a sentence is a matter of choice, depending on the style of your writing. For instance, you’ll see this often in advertising copy and it works just fine! BUT make sure that your punctuation is correct and the sentence is complete.
And this one REALLY hurts…
MYTH #5: IRREGARDLESS IS NOT A WORD
FACT: Irregardless IS a real word, if you believe everything that you read in some dictionaries. Sadly, what has MADE it an accepted word is its widespread use over the past century. However, with that being said, we recommend that you do NOT use it if you want to be taken seriously! Don’t worry: the spell checker still catches it!
Have fun correcting the Grammar Police! What are you waiting for? (Oops…that was a preposition, wasn’t it?)
P.S. Thanks to Sydney from Orillia for suggesting this topic!