I love the English language. I adore how flexible it is, what a staggeringly large vocabulary we have and how relatively easy it is to get right.
There are three things I detest about it though, and all of them are to do with language users rather than the tongue itself.
1. They’re, there and their. It isn’t hard – honestly it’s not. They’re refers to an abbreviation of they are, denoted by the apostrophe. There refers to a place, best remembered by noting the word here thinly veiled within its spelling. Their refers to people and is best recalled by the letter I – a personal pronoun – connecting the word with humans.
2. To, too and two. Again – easy. To, is the most commonly used of the three and as such is the quickest to write. Too, meaning also or as well etc. can be remembered by its additional o – there as well as the first o. Two is the version that isn’t one of the others and naturally, refers to the number.
These are the things you should know from when you learn to write – just because some things sounds the same when they’re pronounced, it doesn’t mean that they’re the same words. Bear and Bare sound the same, afterall, but you wouldn’t go confusing a gigantic, hairy creature with a penchant for pic-i-nic baskets with being naked, would you?
My biggest hatred of something in the English language, though, is as follows.
3. Might of. No. Just no.
There is no excuse for writing might of instead of might have, or the more commonly used might’ve. I wish people would just look at what they’re typing into their facebook status bars and think, “Actually, in this context ‘might of’ doesn’t make any sense.” If these morons would just ask themselves, “Whose might am I referring to here? The might of what?” I would be far happier. As it is though, I feel like I’m surrounded by idiots.
Please, for the sake of thousands of years of a beautiful language, use your brain.
If not for English, then for those of us who actually care about it not being butchered by complete morons.