National Grammar Day, established by Martha Brockenbrough, has been celebrated in the United States since 2008. Ms Brockenbrough is the author of Things That Make Us [Sic] and the founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar.
In this age of quick, short, electronic communication, grammar seems to have morphed into a new language. And that’s fine, even useful, if you’re speaking with peers. But when speaking with workmates, your boss, or a client, you need to be seen as someone who has command of standard language usage. It makes for effective and professional communication. Proper language usage serves the same purpose as dressing correctly for your business environment: It conveys a professional persona.
Some Common Grammar Mistakes
You’re vs Your
These two statements illustrate the differences between these two words:
Eat your dinner.
Eat. You’re dinner.
I vs Me
Can you bring Billy and I to the store? — Incorrect
Can you bring Billy and me to the store — Correct
The easiest way to determine the proper usage of “I” or “me” is to, in this case, take “Billy” out of the sentence. You wouldn’t say “Can you bring I to the store”, right?
Who vs That
When you’re describing a person, use “who”.
Tammy is a woman who likes to hike.
When your describing an object, use “that”.
Her car is the one that was involved in the accident.
Then vs Than
Use “then” is used in relationship to time.
I washed my hair, then dried it.
Use “than” to make comparisons.
She thought her car was better than her brother’s car.
Less vs Fewer
Use “less” for things that aren’t quantifiable.
She has less money than he does.
Use “fewer” for things that are quantifiable.
She has fewer pennies than he does.
So, yes, the signs in groceries stores that says “10 items or less” is incorrect.
These are only a few of the most common grammar mistakes. It is to your benefit to study these, and to research on the Internet other common grammar errors.