Language Q for native english speakers


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Hi All,

As a Swede i was taught British english in school from the age of 10.

i think i have a reasonable grasp of the english language, but to this day some things still confuse me.

Lately i've seen a lot of people write "of" when i think it would make more sense to write "have" in a sentence.

As an example:

"My parents of never seen this"

Right or wrong?

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You are right - that example would qualify as a totally incorrect use of the word.

But, having said that, I haven't seen the word 'of' used incorrectly the way you describe.

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Wrong.

I am a bit of a pedant when it comes to the English language, though my speling ain't always gud!

Many people have substituted "of" instead of "have".

ie;

"I should of seen that" instead of "I should have seen that"

it is often needlessley added,

ie;

"I jumped off of the step" instead of "I jumped off the step".

But one great aspect of the English Language is it's natural evolution, incorporating words from other languages, ie; barbeque forn Native American, bungalow from India, and leviathon from Hebrew.

It is a changing language, built from various European and Scandanavian languages.

So maybe some changes are not such a bad thing.

It also adopts words and forms from other English speaking countries, ie the USA and Australia.

It can be negative in some ways, as many languages are being eroded by the English language use in technology and industry, so it's probably not good to be too prescious about it, as other languages suffer due to it's world wide use.

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I can see where the error might come from. Confusing "could've" with "could of", as they kinda sound the same, is a possibility. Laziness in speech then translates into laziness in written language.

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Amazing explanation Mazolaman. My late mom, the bossy and critical English teacher would be proud!

And Maxi, English is one of the most difficult languages to learn for exactly your example. Especially since the two words sound the same too.

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You are right - that example would qualify as a totally incorrect use of the word.

But, having said that, I haven't seen the word 'of' used incorrectly the way you describe.

No, but we sometimes see : " I should of known" or the likes.
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No, but we sometimes see : " I should of known" or the likes.

There is a perfect example. The contraction "should've" is being replaced with the similar sounding "should of".

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There is a perfect example. The contraction "should've" is being replaced with the similar sounding "should of".

And then there is "shoulda, woulda, coulda" but hey, one day at a time, right?

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Amazing explanation Mazolaman. My late mom, the bossy and critical English teacher would be proud!

And Maxi, English is one of the most difficult languages to learn for exactly your example. Especially since the two words sound the same too.

Thanks, I am a bit of (have)? an old scool maam!

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Hey, guys, do not be upset with the mistakes we, no native speakers, make, ok?

No intend to be disrespectfull, just not skilled enough.

Of course!!

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Hey, guys, do not be upset with the mistakes we, no native speakers, make, ok?

No intend to be disrespectfull, just not skilled enough.

I have no issue with non native speakers. The examples I cited are almost always done by native brits which is far worse.

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Right on Mazola and others.

That said, I don't find this error nearly as annoying as the phenomenon of vocal/glottal fry or creaky voice. God help me when I hear this.

Wilkey

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Contractions mess people up.

It's vs. its is another example. If it belongs to something, it's "its".

Your vs. you're is another. If the meaning is "you are", as in "you are going to do something", it's "you're".

Their vs. there. If it belongs to something, it's "their".

To vs. too. If there is an excess, it's "too".

You see these being spelled wrong all the time, and it's got nothing to do with English as a second language. Texting is making

people look dumb.

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I can see where the error might come from. Confusing "could've" with "could of", as they kinda sound the same, is a possibility. Laziness in speech then translates into laziness in written language.

I find this sort of thing completely inexcusable. When people (and I'm specifically discussing native speakers who are supposedly "fluent" in the English language) use the phrase "should of" in writing instead of "should have" (or any other similar example) I think it's a complete bastardization of the language and makes them look/sound completely uneducated - particularly when such errors are made in a business setting. I see it all the time. One of the managers who reports to me always wants to misuse the "of" word in writing. When she does it for presentations I can get her to make the correction before it goes before our clients, but other times she sends emails out to the clients that include those sorts of errors. It's unprofessional and well beyond annoying. Were it not for HR I'd already have (of?) let her pursue other career opportunities.

I don't expect perfection from anyone... we're all human and we make mistakes from time to time. But consistently butchering the English language like this drives me batpoop crazy.

There... rant over. :)

Cheers,

~ Greg ~

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I'm may sound contradictory here, but even though I find these things annoying I do try and give people the benefit of the doubt. My wife suffers from mild dyslexia so I know these things aren't always about laziness or stupidity....

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It is amusing to see how many errors people are making in this thread while correcting others.

We are on the interwebs, this is not a PHD thesis defence. As long as the meaning is understood, the rest hardly matters.

And I accept that as your pragmatic perspective and your value judgment with respect to the utility of language. But it is just that. There are several other reasonable perspectives presented in this thread and I find them all illuminating. Amusing? Perhaps.

Communication of concepts is only one element of communication, both written and spoken, in general.

Wilkey

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I'm may sound contradictory here, but even though I find these things annoying I do try and give people the benefit of the doubt. My wife suffers from mild dyslexia so I know these things aren't always about laziness or stupidity....

Agreed.

Wilkey

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There... rant over. smile.png

I am with you on this matter. I've been banned from a french forum for criticizing the fact that people made a mistake in each word, in a country where education is compulsory up to age 16…

"Ce qui se conçoit bien s'énonce clairement" – N. Boileau, 1674

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We are on the interwebs, this is not a PHD thesis defence. As long as the meaning is understood, the rest hardly matters.

Agreed... to a point. I think it depends largely upon the context. Yes, internet forums are hardly places where proper grammar/spelling are expected. I doubt too many folks are going to call out dangling participles on an internet forum. However, in a business context I think proper grammar and spelling are important. The "should of" instead of "should have" example is hardly a "simple" error, IMO. It's not the same thing as incorrect placement of a comma/apostrophe or incorrect usage of a semicolon. It's not the same thing as a simple spelling error - although in today's world spelling errors should be far less frequently encountered due to spell checkers. This misuse of the word "of" is goofy. I cringe any time I see it.

Maxismoke's original question regarding the "of/have" deal was simple: right or wrong? It's wrong. 100%, absolutely, fully, completely, without a doubt wrong. It's wrong on an internet forum just as it's wrong in a business setting. But I think it's fair to say it matters less in one setting than the other.

Cheers,

~ Greg ~

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You can decide for yourself how important you think this is.

Someone isn't spelling something wrong on an internet forum because it's an internet forum, and they're making a conscious decision to do it. They just don't know how to spell.

Technology is great for lots of things, but spelling is a casualty.

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