It is pretty obvious that many kids are much more familiar with spoken English than written English and that this is responsible for a lot of the errors I see. While English is an evolving language, the point of writing is effective communication and the more "correct" you are, the easier it is for readers to read what you have written.
So without further ado, here is Ingi's Guide To Common Errors in Writing:
- There is no word "alot". It does not exist (except perhaps in some people's imagination). I think what they are trying to write is "a lot" (note the space). And before you Grammar Police comment, they are not referring to the verb "allot" either. I am rather annoyed that we have been told to ignore this as an error when marking, as it is sooooo common.
- "Could of"/"should of"/"would of"/"must of" - these are unfortunately all incorrect. The ear hears "would've" as "would of". It is, in fact, a contraction of "would have". Ditto all the others.
- Similarly, there is no such word as "themselfs". It is a misspelling of "themselves".
- If one more kid writes "I'm gonna", I'm "going to" hurt something! Ditto for the close relation "gunna".
- "I reckon" that there may be a lot of other ways to start a sentence which is an opinion.
- In fact, there may be "heaps more" ways.
- Quite a few ways, "and stuff".
- Think about what you are writing/have written - does it makes sense? For instance "if you starve, you could die. Or worse." Please tell me what might be worse than dying of starvation?
- "There" - is a place or idea (look at the food over there!). "They're" - is a contraction for "they are" (they're going to starve to death). "Their" is possessive (their kids are starving).
- Definitely remember how to spell "definitely" (not "definately" - I stand accused of this one!!!).
- Apparently multiple exclamation marks are redundant!!! But not on blogs :-)
- i think Everyone should at least Try to use A Capital letter at the Start of a sentence and not throughout except for Pronouns full stops or commas or other punctuation marks also help us Work Out what youre trying To Say as well
- Now of course, there is room for a little conversational tone (especially on a blog!), but in formal exams, not all conversational phrases are appropriate. In addition, we are not texting here people! (hi i'm Ingi and i'm gonna tell u about why i think everyone should cook - whattya reckon?).
I do try to proof read my posts to make sure I haven't written "write" instead of "right" or some other silly error which will make me look like a dufus, but I'm sure I'm not always super-attentive. Feel free to Grammar Police me in the comments if you ever find an error (but be nice, I cry easily!).
There are many more out there and many great websites to point them out (the Oatmeal does a great job, but not for young kids or the easily offended). These are just the more common errors/irritating phrases I have come across in the last couple of weeks.
I have one more week of marking to go - not sure if we (the 208 teachers they have employed) will get through all the scripts (240,000 odd) by then. Not sure what will happen if we don't. I will share with you that out of those 208, only 41 teachers have not been more than 2 marks away from the head markers on the common scripts - and I'm one of them!! Super accurate marker I am! Which I'm pretty happy about, because I am not a Primary teacher or English teacher and it's my first time marking.
I have to wade through a lot more "I strongly agrees", "firstly/secondly/thirdly" (and sometimes "forthy/fifly/sixly/sevenly/ately" as well!). In conclusion, I strongly agree that it may be a long week ahead! But the family is coming to visit tomorrow night for a few days (yay!) and my cold/flu is on the improve, despite the pounding my social life is giving it, so things are on the up!