you're reading...
Dangerous Lee University, Featured Writers

Avoiding the Three Most Common Grammar and Speech Errors That Make You Look Stupid

Most of the rules of grammar and speech are fairly simple and even logical. So there is really no excuse to sound ignorant when you are trying to express yourself. Just avoid some of the most common errors that people make by remembering the simple rules.

Subject of a sentence. This is by far the most common grammatical error most people make. “Me and John went to the store.” The secret to avoiding this error is to mentally take the other person out of the sentence. Only a two year old would think of saying “Me went to the store”. Just because John joined you, the subject should be the same, and you need to say “John and I went to the store.” But sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and often those who know that it should be John and I think the rule applies in all cases. When you and John are the object of the sentence, you can’t use “I”. Nevertheless, you will often hear someone, trying to be overly correct, say “She gave a lovely gift to John and I.” Using the same trick, just take John out of the sentence and ponder whether you would say “She gave a lovely gift to I.” “I” is used as the subject, and only the subject of a sentence.

Past Tense. This seems to be another area where, by trying to improve their vocabulary, many people overcorrect and come out wrong. We can all cite countless examples of people who “had went” to the store. Without exploring the vagaries of the pluperfect and the past pluperfect, it is important for you to understand that the proper construction is “I (or he, she, you, John) went to the store. It happened on one particular occasion in the recent past. If the shopping trip was in the further past and denotes a specific event, it is correct to say “I had gone to the store.” In no case is it ever correct to combine the two and say you “had went.”

Verbal crutches. These are phrases that people use in place of actually saying anything of importance. They are very annoying and make the speaker sound unsure of himself and even downright dumb. The most common verbal crutches that are in use today are “You know” and “like”. The dumbest and most annoying is of course, “Like, you know.” I watched a television interview with a sports figure once, where I counted 18 “you knows” in a two minute speech. Avoid these crutches like the plague; they strongly mark you as unsophisticated and uneducated. Slow down your speech and find the right words that you want to express so that you do not have to sprinkle your conversation with “Like, you know”.

I write on many topics, including criminal background check, people search and investigating people

About these ads

About Leigh Langston

I am the artist behind the Dangerous Lee Network. I create social media marketing campaigns for artists and creative business owners. In 2013, The Dangerous Lee Network ranked in the top 11,000 websites in the U.S. according to Alexa. That same year the network received 3 million views. Content from the network has been featured on The TODAY Show with Kathie Lee & Hoda, has been nominated for four Black Weblog Awards and selected as a Top Fashion Blog to follow in 2013 and 2014. I am also the author of the Amazon best selling safe sex erotica anthology, "Keep Your Panties Up and Your Skirt Down" and an eBook on the affects of colorism, The Half Series: When Black People Look White.


2 thoughts on “Avoiding the Three Most Common Grammar and Speech Errors That Make You Look Stupid

  1. Haha! Glad you liked the article :)


    Posted by Dangerous Lee | 01/12/2012, 12:37 PM
  2. Yes! Thank you for laying that out so simply that, “like, you know,” even a fucking hamster could understand it. Keep rockin’ the grammar and counting the crutches, people!


    Posted by invisiblogger | 01/12/2012, 7:23 AM

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,927 other followers

%d bloggers like this: