Commas and capitals and apostrophes, oh my

I’m a stickler for grammar and spelling, despite the advent of the digital age. My text messages are usually made up of full sentences and feature punctuation and phrases. I’d use paragraphs if I could.

I’ve been thinking lately about my favourite infractions, the ones that make me dig my fingernails into the palms of my hands, and I shortlisted these five.

1. Endless sentences that go on for quite a long time and as well as rambling and repeating themselves seem averse to ever using a phrase or even a comma and the thoughts of splitting into two or more sentences is just to much to bear and dear God will it ever end?

2. How difficult is it to remember to use a capital when writing about yourself in the first person – i’m really irked by this one and i think it’s getting more common so i despair.

3. In the same vein, please think about a capital letter for proper nouns, words like Kilkenny and Mary don’t look right when they are cast as kilkenny or mary.


5. Its particularly aggravating when someone goes to the trouble of writing a sentence, an email, a report and can’t be bothered to put the apostrophe in it’s correct place. Added to that, the good old greengrocer’s apostrophe deserves a mention. I particularly like it when a company commissions a sign for their shop front and the errant apostrophe is dancing there for ever more: Paddys Potato’s Place indeed.


5 Responses to Commas and capitals and apostrophes, oh my

  1. geoffreyking says:

    Well said! My own greatest bugbear is a variant on your #1; that is, sentences which ought to be separate, strung together with commas, such as:
    “He’s bought a new car, I think it’s a Volvo” or
    “We’ve had a really good time, we’re going home on Tuesday”

  2. Radge says:

    Your and you’re. Give me strength.

    There are actually around 8212 things that piss me off in this regard, but its early and I havent had my COFFEE.

    (I feel dirty.)

  3. emilyam says:

    Those annoy me too Geoffrey. Think of the semi colon.

    Radge, I had forgotten about that particular infraction. It’s a good (bad) one. Americanised spellings deserve an honourable mention too: “I’m off to the shopping center to organize paint color for my new house.”

  4. Kitty Cat says:

    I die a little inside every time I see “should of” instead of “should have”.

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