There are always going to be mistakes that start innocently enough, but grow into universal usage. The internet helps propagate this because it is full of informal forms of communication that lead to the wide spread growth of common mistakes. Chat rooms and emails are very convenient forms of informal communication where people throw the grammar book out the window so that they can cut a few corners and send messages faster.
“…i want u to find that 4 me…idk my bff rose…lol…”
I’m not saying I have a pet peeve with shortcuts in the chat rooms. But, it translates to mistakes in more formal settings. When you write an essay for your college professor or you have a report to write for your boss, you don’t want to turn in a presentation with simple errors that could have been avoided. So, let’s take a look at a few of the more common mistakes in hopes that you’ll catch on and start correcting your own errors by yourself.
One that has really caught on big is the use of the word, “thru.” This wasn’t even a word until a few short years ago. Added to the dictionary because of its wide usage, it is the informal spelling of the word “through.” I “threw” a ball or I went “through” the door are the two homonyms used for formal writing. “Thru” should be kept for hand-written signs on Laundromats that tell you the doors are open “Monday thru Friday.”
“U” actually appears in formal documents for the word, “you.” Just like “wut” and “wuz” show up in place of “what” and “was.” Be aware of the proper way to spell words that you use in your chat rooms. I haven’t seen “2” or “4” show up for “to” or “for” yet, but I have a feeling they’re coming.
In even the most advanced documents, I see one that really kills me. It’s the combination of the words “could” and “of,” or in other words, “I could of gone to the concert last night.” No you couldn’t have because you needed to stay home and study grammar! This combination of words is the incorrect form many people mistake because they hear the helping verb “could” used in conjunction with the main verb “have.”
“I could have gone to the concert last night.” This sentence translates to, “I could’ve gone to the concert last night.” Therefore, “could of” is incorrect.
That goes with “Would of” and “Should of” as well. The correct forms are “Would’ve” and “Should’ve” or “Would have” and “Should have.”
Informal chat is a practice that makes you form bad habits. So, recognize that there is a difference between the informal writing you share among your friends and the formal writing you do in school or in the business world. Once you recognize the difference, you’ll start to make the adjustments you need to be error free.