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There, Their, They're - A Rant About Internet Spelling
I can't take it any more! - It's driving me nuts. I'm going to have to have a rant about this simply to preserve my sanity!
OK. I understand that the World Wide Interweb is not the most literate of places - Why should it be? After all, if you want to hook up with someone and they with you, then the style and method you and they choose to accomplish that is up to you.
Is it me - or has spelling gone to the dogs these days? Hastily typed emails, texts and forum comments will always throw up some errors - that is to be expected, but these basic spelling gaffes seem to be becoming the norm on the interweb.
It's almost like people are learning to how to write from studying other people's dodgy interweb typings. I have lost count of the times I have read lines like "He could of done it" instead of "He could have done it" - "could of"? - I mean, what the hell does that mean?
As I said, private communication between people is their business, but when writing a piece for publication, we expect that some sort of polishing has gone on before it is inflicted on the general public.
My main bugbear concerns the use of the words There, Their and They're. They all have the same sound, but all have very different meanings, and they are constantly mis-used on the Interweb. The problem lies in the fact that although they are used in the wrong context, their spelling is nevertheless correct and so the error is not picked up by spellcheckers. This gives the authors the false impression that their copy has no errors.
Does this Matter?
Well yes, I think it does. You may be reading through a wonderfully flowing piece of text, lost in the narrative it is portraying - When suddenly - you hit a word that makes no sense in that context, and a mental spanner is immediately thrown in your brain's gearbox. - "What"? - You then have to go back and re-read the sentence a couple of times in order to understand what the author meant to say. The spell is broken, the continuity lost and the story spoiled through basic errors.
So which of the "There" sounds, are correct in which situation?
Here's a handy guide.
"There", means "in, at, or to that position" - i.e. it is over there. An easy way to remember this is the phrase "here and there", because the word is simply "Here" with a "T" on the beginning - "T here"
"Their", means "Belonging to them". An easy way to remember this is the phrase "they were heir to their fortune", because the word is simply "Heir" with a "T" on the beginning - "T heir".
And finally "They're". This is actually a shortened form of "They are". The "a" having simply been replaced with the apostrophe - "They(a)re" becomes "They(')re).
That's it. My rant is over. Hopefully this little guide has clarified the use of these words for those who weren't sure of how it worked, and will allow your writings to flow uninterrupted - just as you always intended.
I think I need to lie down in a darkened room now ;)
More Grammar/Spelling Help
After one reading and it was a rather pleasant reading; my grammar and punctuation have improved dramatically. An easy style and layout, this lady certainly knows her stuff, without being stuffy in the teaching process.
This book made brushing up my grammar, comprehensive and enjoyable, highly recommended to anyone that writes anything, even a letter to their milkman.
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