I’m Judging You

I’m judging you and really do feel a little bad about it.

I think we’ve all read articles, blog posts, status updates and tweets with commentary on the misuse of words like “your” and “you’re.” Some people say it’s their #1 pet peeve.


My feelings are a bit different. I’ll paint you a picture:
When I’m reading along, imagine I’m actually strolling down a beautiful tree-lined street, joy in my heart, gratitude in the air. Then I come across, “Your not going to believe there response to my request”, and it’s like Demarcus Ware blind-siding me with a form tackle after he’s reached his maximum 40-yard dash speed—and he’s got his helmet on.

It’s more than a pet peeve or annoyance. I feel assaulted.

To the offenders: I’m judging you. I’d like to say, “I’m judging you and I’m NOT SORRY!”, but I am sorry. I know it’s unkind to wish you’d go play in traffic until you learn simple contractions. It’s not right or OK that I want your entire Facebook page to burst into flames when you can’t figure out the difference between “to” and “too”. So, I’m sorry.

If you write as your status update:
“You guys, I saw the most awful thing today. This sweet old lady offered to help this rough-looking guy pay for his groceries because he’d forgotten his wallet and then that son of a biscuit tried to jump her out in the parking lot and take her purse! Luckily some other guys took him down and everything was OK. What is this world coming too?!”

I’m out. You lost me. Consider yourself mentally roundhouse kicked into next week. I’m sorry.

You could save a precious litter of puppies (even shar peis) from being swept down a rushing river, but if you write about it by saying, “There precious wrinkly bodies were just being whisked away so quickly!” … I’m out. I’m now picturing you being the one swept away by the rapids. I said I’m sorry!


Without the basic understanding of simple contractions like your/you’re, their/they’re and its/it’s, you become Public Enemy Number One in my grammar world—and all kinds of things happen to you in my mind. Sshh, there-their, I’m not killing you, but you are absolutely the recipient of some bad luck. Some faves:

  • your child sleep-kicking you in your unprotected face at 3:00am
  • tripping with your arms full (and not on carpet)
  • not being able to pull the baskets apart at Target (with people watching and waiting)
  • hang nails (that you make worse because you can’t leave them alone)
  • dirt in your eyes (and under your contacts)
  • stubbed toes (that are so swift and forceful, you can’t even get oxygen to cuss)

I’m not finished. If you say “anyways”, we can’t be friends. I’m hesitant about this announcement because I’m fairly positive I have current friends who use “anyway” in its non-existent plural form, but it’s out of my hands and I have to cut you loose.

Uh oh. Light bulb. You’re also gone if you haven’t figured out lose vs. loose. This one takes years off my life.

Facebook status:
“Dear Cop Who Pulled Me Over, your sunglasses and night stick don’t make you that cool—you can loose the attitude.”

Nope. I’m now firmly Team Cool Cop and feel very good about your citation. I’m sorry. I wish I was a better person—but I’m not and you made me this way.

One Facebooker wanted to know why Fitbit hadn’t released their new Flex band, so she posted, “Seriously Fitbit, I’m loosing patients with you!” I’m sorry, are you a doctor? NO. And now I’m not only losing my patience with YOU, but I feel 9x the exasperation because 9 home skillets just “liked” your comment. Even if you’re equally upset with Fitbit, do you really want to be an accomplice to such offensive grammar indiscretions and incriminate yourself by “liking” the status update? Because that’s what you just did—you just endorsed a grammar catastrophe.

Self-Reporting 1:
I used the phrase “fixin’ to” until I was about 28. I was, for the most part, unaware that it was regional slang. Someone from another part of the country asked what it meant and I just stared—confused—thinking, “What do you mean what does it mean? How can you be an adult and not know the definition of ‘fixin’ to?”

I eventually tried to describe it by explaining that it’s akin to “preparing to” … I’m fixin’ to take a shower … I’m preparing to take a shower … and you prepare food and fix food … and the more I talked the more I realized it’s just really not a word, and I stopped using it. Not an easy task after 20-something years.

Self-Reporting 1.5:
Once in awhile it’ll fly out of my mouth when I’m excited during a conversation. It’s more slang than anything and I definitely do slang—which means I just unnecessarily self-reported.

Self-Reporting 2:
I’m also forever tripped up by past vs. passed. Try as I might to differentiate them by considering “time” vs. “distance” I still become disoriented and often opt for bypassing the word entirely. Inner Dialogue: A lot of time has past us by? A lot of time has passed us by? Hmm, I’m talking about time so I bet it’s past, but I’m also talking about distance so maybe it’s passed? It is past or passed? Why is this so hard? It’s like harder than math. I think it’s passed. Passed sounds right. But what if? Oh never mind, I’ll just say the years have flown by or something.

Then I walk away, beaten and defeated. I cheer myself up by remembering how good I am with were vs. we’re.

I self-report to say that I make mistakes all the time—most people do. But there is a difference in occasional misspellings or accidental grammar mishaps here and there and the consistent misuse of words that shouldn’t be problematic. If you can figure out Black Ops and know every word to every song in your iTunes library, you can get a handle on their, there and they’re.


My prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the rain and the delicious recipes I find on Pinterest. Please bless this day and shield my eyes from improper punctuation and spelling. Please protect me from poor grammar online—especially when I get left-jabbed and uppercut by something like, “I should of known better.” Keep me from commenting that “should of” should be “should have.” Help me walk away from the travesty of “your so hot” comments on Justin Bieber’s Instagram pictures without swooping in with a lesson on contractions. But more than anything—if I do, in a weak moment, step in to make corrections—please help me to not misspell anything. Amen.”

I’d love for you to join me on Facebook … it’s good for your health.

0 thoughts on “I’m Judging You

  1. O M G you read my mind!!!!!! That irritates the crap out of me! I do have to add that misused punctuation drives me crazy as well (like the first image you posted, periods ALWAYS go inside quotation marks—but maybe only English teachers know that rule???)

    My biggest pet peeve of the year happens around Christmas card time when people add apostrophes to their names. “From the Leffingwells” does NOT need an apostrophe, peeps!

    Good job Anna Banana!

    1. Paula, LOL, I guess we all have our sticking points … apostrophes, ending sentences in prepositions, etc. Some bother me, some KILL me and some I’m OK with! But the ones that kill … kill really, really hard 🙂 Thanks Pilaf!

  2. It took me until college (where about half the student population had gone to private boarding school) to realize that “youse” was not the proper plural of you. As in, “Where youse guys goin’ tonight?” My parents still say it and it drives me up the wall when I talk to them.

    1. Oh, awesome. Like, you for real didn’t know? How great is that. But like you, I had NO CLUE “fixin’ to” wasn’t full-on legit. Watch, my dad’s gonna come on here and explain how it’s perfectly fine and I’ll LOVE HIM for it … and he’ll make a good case. Thanks for coming by!

      1. Nah, I knew. It’s just that where I grew up everyone said it, so it was normal to me. There were other speech and grammar things that I really didn’t know were wrong until college though. They all thought I was some hick 🙂

  3. uh oh – is the embarrassed jab at me?! WHY do I rely so heavily on spellcheck for that word?! These things all drive me totes bananas too, and yet I know I make them occasionally. I’m stressed about replying…I might have messed up words…:) Hilarious, as always

  4. Yes. All of this! As a person who has a close relationship with words (not in a gross way), I must give this post five stars. Mistakes like these take me completely out of whatever I’m reading. I’ll actually make an audible, disappointed sound like “mehhhh” when I see one! (Note: I’ve seen some people mistakenly use “waste” for “waist” and it makes fire appear before eyes).

    1. Trix! Waste/waist is such a good one. Is the fire that appears intended for the offender … or just something you see? Don’t lie. No judgment here. Oh wait—the title says otherwise. I make so many noises when I see all these things. The sounds range from your “mehhh” to an all-out throaty growl. Hi 🙂

  5. While mom was preparing (fixing) dinner, I was preparing to (fixing to) comment. Then, I realized that we were getting ready to (preparing to – fixing to) leave for church. Oh well, I’ll just comment later. Maybe I’ll just text U (you) B4 (before) I go 2 (to-not too) bed 2nite (tonight). K?
    (he said with a sneer on his face thinking about how his textilicious daughter was fixing to react)
    Hill Larry Us.

  6. As always I greatly appreciate your blogs! You’re so smart. These are definitely some of my biggest pet peeves…..I want to scream (or call) at these fools. If you can’t spell or use grammar correctly then stay off the computer idiots!!! This is my favorite one of all….”I seen your daughter today.” Really?????? I automatically want to correct them.

  7. I can so relate to weaning myself off of “fixing to”!! At about the same age…late 20’s. Now I am “getting ready to”. A couple of days ago my oldest said “fixing to”. I gave him a blank stare. Then I composed myself and sternly corrected him. Seriously! On a side note, I also corrected my pronunciation of pillow from “pilla” which is total Texas Panhandle slang. And Aimee Frick: “I seen” makes me lightheaded with embarrassment. A few days ago a beloved family member (and former Borgan) said “walla” (don’t even know how to spell it). As in “it happened A WHILE AGO”. Ugh…when’d ya get home mama? walla go. Ohhh okay…. 🙁

    1. I’m quite familiar with walla. And j’eat … as in, “J’eat yet? I’m hungry.” Yes … “did you eat” becomes j’eat? I’m sure we could go on and on! Thank you for being here 🙂

  8. LOL!! And Aimee Frick you have heard of “walla” girl! You’re from Borger!! You’re trying to block it out…I totally get that!

    1. Tammy, I’m blocking nothing out! 🙂 I’m certain that I hear people say this daily & I pretend I have no clue!!! “Just remember, I seen you laughing! “

  9. Excellent post! As an English teacher (college mind you), I see all types of heinous crimes against the language. Probably the biggest one lately has been students not knowing the difference between then and than. I’ve also seen overuse of the adverbial form of transition words like First, Second, and Last, making them Firstly, Secondly, and Lastly. While those aren’t technically incorrect, they drive me nuts.

    1. Then and than are such biggies that I sooo should’ve included! I bet you just shake your head at everything you see from COLLEGE kids. I’d probably comfort myself with food. 😉 Thank you for coming by!!

  10. Anna Lea! You are simultaneously brilliant and correct! These transgressors ( who likely work at the “stationary” store ) should atone for their sins. Yet they go unpunished, while those of us who are subjected to their fingernails- on -the chalkboard- use of the English language are expected to refrain from violence! This is truly an unfair world! Thanks for the like and follow!

  11. That is like, totes true! (Yeah, I had to learn 7th grade lexicon to understand what the hell my stepdaughter and all of her friends are talking about). I don’t mind the slang, as long as it’s not “Your like totes adorbs.” Cause then, you gotta shut that down. Great post!

  12. LOL, I love it! And I love that you stopped by The Brass Rag. Come back and see us again soon. We look forward to your comments. Meanwhile, I wish you good grammar and happy writing.

  13. “Hey, here’s the deal.” Thank you for being the first to comment on my first post of my new blog. That being said, you scare me! I actually went back and edited my post for grammar after reading I’m Judging You. Looking forward to reading more of your post.

    1. Well if it makes you feel any better, I had to edit that post itself like 4,009 times because I was scared. Don’t be scurrrrred! Thank you back for coming over 🙂

    2. No offense, Steve, but did you mean posts? I often see these words without an s when they’re obviously meant to be plural: post, text, list, test, etc., mostly words ending with st or xt. These same people also don’t add the -ed when it’s past tense, e.g. “I text you five times and you never text me back.” Yikes, it drives me nuts!

      1. Yes, yes I did. Thank you for bringing that to my attention…I graduated high school with a D in English way back years ago. I never saw your comment for one reason or another until now. Probably because I forgot I had this blog. Will come by and post more often. Thanks again.

  14. I have a sticky note in my kitchen to remind everyone about their/they’re/there. Nobody pays any attention to it except for me but I feel better that it is there and not their and they’re!

  15. I love this post, and I’d like to share my own pet peeve – “I wish I would of found your blog sooner, I could of been reading it all this time.” Whenever I see that, I know that the person who wrote it and I will never be friends.

  16. I’ll be honest, I may have forgotten more rules about writing than I can remember these days! It’s been roughly fourteen years since I have had to write any sort of formal paper, in fact up until a few months ago it had been a few years since I actually tried to write anything serious on the internet outside of a facebook status update or a tweet. Somehow through it all I think I have managed to hold on to most of the basics despite years of working with artists, musicians, construction workers and people from other countries with very broken English skills. Although with the latter I do find myself speaking broken English sometimes in order to simplify communication with them. The only rules I can’t remember anymore are the use of the colon and the semicolon! Hopefully I can get by the rest of my natural life without them!

    Also thanks for stopping by and adding me!

    1. You’re way ahead of the crowd if you’ve still got a solid grip on colons and semicolons! Thanks so much for coming by and commenting 🙂

  17. “Anyways” makes me cringe. “Whole nother” makes me shoot dagger eyes. The misuse of “epic” and “literally” make me scream. The absence of commas confuses, but the simple switching of homophones delights. I can bare it.

  18. Oops, forgot a couple. In the Midwest, you don’t lend something to someone, you borrow it to them. Argghhh! And people itch their mosquito bites instead of scratch them. But the very worst- pronouncing Italian as “Eyetalian.” That takes the cake.
    I’m from The Southwest, where the dialects are strong and heavily bilingual, but those are my cultural oddities and I like those:)

    1. I’m cringing because this reminds me … I used to say “nother” w/o a care in the world, not even realizing it. “Anyways” takes 2-4 years off my life. I simply cannot hear what you’re saying about “borrow it to them” … I won’t accept this. Itch and scratch is also very upsetting (and I’m always surprised by the people who say it wrong). I’ve had to let “Eyetalian” go … don’t ask, I just have.

      Thank you for coming by and hanging out!!

  19. Funny stuff! I read every comment, too. You never know when you’ll learn something. I have often sat puzzling over where to put the punctuation when using quotation marks (did the speaker pause…or did the writer want the reader to pause?) and am thrilled to know there is a rule for it! Thanks!

  20. AMEN! Grammar and punctuation errors are enough to drive me mad. Also irritating: speaking errors. “Drownded,””Ec-scaped” – how did these people get through childhood and adolescence without being corrected?

    I also favour the Oxford comma. If you’re rattling off a list, it’s the only thing that makes sense.

    Great post!

    1. Wow, you know, I didn’t even know (or had forgotten?) that it was called an oxford comma! My mom used one when I was home this weekend and it struck me because I feel like no one uses them anymore and I remember having a hard time NOT using them when they became a “supposed no-no” … or something. Thanks for being here and YES … “ec-scaped” … oy. 🙂

    2. Amen to all the above. One of the most irritating mispronunciations to me is “ASS-essories.” Yikes!

      My latest gripe, though, is the gross misuse of the apostrophe! Some people’s thinking seems to be, if you add an s to a word, you might as well throw in an apostrophe, just in case! It totally drives me bonkers, and I see it everywhere!

  21. I enjoyed this post. I often end up on both sides of the line, so if you read my blog, be kind. I almost always ask my wife to proofread it because she can find the small errors that I tend to overlook. I also grew up in Pittsburgh, so some things are permanent 🙂

  22. I loved this one Anna!

    Tammy – I had not heard “pilla”…but I do have a family member who says “I need to “warsh it” instead of wash…kills me!

  23. I decided to just go ahead and read this again, and I think it was even funnier the second time. I mean, there’s just too much to highlight. It’s like a giant outlet mall of funny.

  24. Their are to many of you grammar nazi’s and you’re problem of correcting peoples mistakes and saying we should of payed more attention in school.

    Ouch. Sorry, but my attempt to torture you is too painful for me to continue. I’ll just leave you with this instead: http://xkcd.com/1238/

      1. I was just trying to duplicate the response that usually appears any time grammar comes up online. I have lost count of how many times I’ve had to resist the urge to grab the nearest sharp object and put out my eyes.