To, too or two

Do you have a problem with which witch is which, or which two is too? I know I do. No wonder English is considered one of the most difficult languages to master. It’s hard enough as a first language, imagine what it must be like for someone to learn it as a second language.

I’ve sorted out Principal (the pal at the end indicates a person – so that one’s the head of the school). That means the other principle is the one associated with morals.

I know that stationery with an ‘e’, we’ll there’s an ‘e’ in ‘pen’, so that’s how I remind myself how to spell that one. That means the other stationary with the ‘a’ means remaining in one place.

And as an aside, I know that we’ll should be well, (as in, ‘we’ll there’s an ‘e’ in pen in the above paragraph.) That’s the result of auto-correct, and auto-correct often gets it wrong. I’ve deliberately left that one in to demonstrate. Another frequent one auto-correct often gets wrong is we’re as opposed to were. Agreed though, I should proof read those ones and correct them. Only trouble is when I proof read I tend to read what I think is there.

I can give you good advice (rhymes with mice, a noun), or I can advise you (to make you wise – also rhymes).

I know the apostrophe in, ‘it’s’ replaces the ‘i’ from the is.  I know the apostrophe in their’s signifies that something belongs the them. But should I have put a comma after ‘their’s’ in that sentence?

When I write a blog post I tend to often put commas where I pause to think. I try to proof read everything before I hit publish, but invariably after I’ve hit the publish button there’ll still be at least a few spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors. Sometimes there’ll be more than a few….

I have a friend who has a good knowledge of written English. Wendy no doubt cringes when she reads some of my blog posts full of incorrect spelling, commas that shouldn’t be there, we’ll that should be well, and we’re that should be were.  Tentatively she broached the subject with me after my last blog post on momentum on the home front. I re-read the post, which I’d already proof read a number of times – and it was a nightmare of inappropriate commas and spelling errors. I’ve tried to assure Wendy that I’m definitely not to old to learn, and will be happy to have her as my teacher. So, yes please Wendy – I’ll appreciate feedback on my spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

I read other blog posts and am in awe as to how well they’ve been written. Not only is the content amazing, but the spelling, grammar and punctuation seems to flow from thought to written word perfectly. Kudos to all of you who get it right. I’m not sure I ever will – but I’m not beyond trying to learn. Thank you to all of you who have read my posts, cringing at the assault on the written English, and still you’ve returned to read the next post. Hugs to all of you.

Oh – and despite my opening sentence, I do know that two is the number, and I know which witch is which. I get mixed up on the other two to(s), and, I’m just not sure how many commas should be in the middle of that sentence!

 

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20 thoughts on “To, too or two

  1. Your posts read just fine to me, Chris. Like you, we often read what should be there, and my mind jumps ahead so I often hit submit before checking grammar in the comments section. Auto correct is annoying when it overrides what once wishes to write, so we have to check all comments now….. it can be an aid or a hindrance. I, too, must do a few edits when I re-read my, just published, posts, so we can be partners on that!!! As for commas, I was doing some beta reading of a short story collection for a Danish friend and checked the rules about where to put commas. Commas should be before and after an independent (?) clause. Basically, it means that should put commas around a phrase that, if taken out of the sentence, would mean the sentence still read correctly. As in, “too” and “just published” in the above sentence. We do not need to put a comma after and in a list of several adjectival items, such as: “the large, sticky, voluminous and blubbering mass.” Maybe, your friend, Wendy could confirm that is correct? Grammar is fast disappearing amongst the young people, and the shortening of problems to ‘probs’, and crazy to ‘crae’ etc means if we were to come back in the future we would not be able to easily understand our own language. North and South Koreans hardly understand one another now, due to the isolation from the North! In just sixty years!

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  2. Thank you Amanda. It all gets very confusing…. Written language is certainly changing with the younger generations for sure. In fact I doubt many under 30s would pick up my errors. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

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  3. It’s something I never paid much attention to at school, now I wished I had. (Is that the correct ‘to’? – I know to is going somewhere, and too is as well as, but the above us neither, and has be baffled).

    Like

  4. Oh yes, ‘e’ in pen and ‘a’ in car which is stationary outside the stationers which in my mind is opposite the station. A crazy language it is and although born to it we still spend a lifetime trying to master it. Of course with blogging one must also consider the variations in its / it’s …oh bugger…use by our multinational readers. But it is a modern world and I’m sure Shakespeare never used ‘…’.

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  5. The next generation coming up are going to have a much more tolerant use of English. I think that’ll be a good thing, but suspect of lot of people of my generation would disagree.

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