Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Two, Too, and To

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on January 19, 2009

One of the terribly irritating but somehow charming things about the English language is its overflowing number of homonyms or homophones — words that sound the same but are (usually) spelled differently and mean different things.

I’ve recently been subjected to a great many people that I personally know using the wrong word in this manner. Examples include the title of this post — two, too, and to; but also words like you’re and your; their, they’re and there; it’s and its — and many more, but these are the most common ones.

So, to sum up, “two” means 2, the number between one and three, how many hands, feet, eyes and ears you have; too means “also” or “to an excessive degree”, “I was too tired”, “I was tired too”; and then there is “to” which is a preposition which can be used in a large number of ways. “Their” is a plural possessive — their house; they’re is a contraction of “they are” — “they’re coming this way”; and “there” denominates a location — “put that there” — putting it altogether, “They’re going there to their car.” Your is a singular possessive — your car; you’re is a contraction of you are — “you’re driving me crazy!” And “it’s” is a contraction of the two words “it is” — it’s cold; while “its” is a possessive — the dog lost its way.

Please, people, this is 4th grade grammar!!! [Unfortunately, some of the mistakes could just be typos, or because someone is tired; but this is happening more and more, and it just looks bad! And, even worse, its rubbeng of on mee.]

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One Response

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  1. Johann said, on January 27, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always loathed the fact that so many people nowadays apparently have no concept of even the basics of the English language.

    As you mentioned, one can excuse the occasional typo or inadvertent mistake (we’ve all made them), or a word that simply is difficult to spell correctly (though there are a myriad of references one can utilize to spell it correctly…), AND I concede that English grammar rules can be difficult to comprehend and/or remember at times, but being either ignorant of or simply apathetic to proper use of even the most simple of words such as “to”, “too”, and “two” is unacceptable.

    The other one that really gets under my skin is the use of apostrophes in plural nouns and other places in which they do not belong. As in,

    “The other one that really GET’S under my skin is the use of APOSTROPHE’S in plural NOUN’S and other PLACE’S in which they do not belong.”

    Yeeesh.

    Too often, these types of errors, especially the errant apostrophes, are on business marquees and signs. I refuse to shop at any such business just on that principle.

    But that’s just me.


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