Couldn’t Say It Better Myself: 12 Mistakes Made By Grammar Mistake Experts


I am a bit behind on some projects, including blog posts, so today, I’m just going to direct you to an excellent article from a blogger I follow: Jonathon Owen of Arrant Pedantry (I love his blog’s name too. Who can spot the reference?)

I wish I could say I’ve always avoided Owen’s “12 Mistakes Nearly Everyone Who Writes About Grammar Mistakes Makes,” but I was once much more of an arrognant grammar pedant than I am now. I hope I have avoided all of these mistakes over the past two years of the WriteAtHome Blog, but I can’t be sure. Feel free to point out any hypocrisies you’ve noticed.

I’ve listed his twelve points, but you really should read the whole article. It’s short. Here’s the link:

12 Mistakes Nearly Everyone Who Writes About Grammar Mistakes Makes

Here’s a quick list of the mistakes:

  1. Confusing grammar with spelling, punctuation, and usage.
  2. Treating style choice as rules.
  3. Ignoring register (i.e., context, circumstances).
  4. Saying that a disliked word isn’t a word.
  5. Turning proposals into ironclad rules.
  6. Failing to discuss exceptions to rules.
  7. Overestimating the frequency of errors.
  8. Believing that etymology is destiny.
  9. Simply bungling the rules.
  10. Saying that good grammar leads to good communication.
  11. Using good grammar to put people down.
  12. Forgetting that correct usage ultimately comes from users.


Feel free to add your comments in the Reply section below. Bad grammar is always welcome.

About the Author

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

  1. Jonathon Owen
    Jonathon Owen11-28-2013

    Oh, I followed the link and got the joke. (And I like the coinage.) I was just making fun of those who failed to do the same on my post. ­čÖé

  2. Jonathon Owen
    Jonathon Owen11-28-2013

    Ack! Of course, I meant that you misspelled arrogant. There’s that darn Muphry . . .

  3. Jonathon Owen
    Jonathon Owen11-28-2013

    Thanks for the link! And, in the spirit of those who keep correcting me on Muphry’s law, I think you misspelled arrognant. ­čśë

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko11-28-2013

      You’re welcome, Jonathan. Thanks for your excellent blog. I believe, however, that I have avoided falling victim to Muphry’s law (this time). Arrognant is not a misspelling. Some time ago, I coined the word arrognance, meaning the unfortunate but not uncommon combination of arrogance and ignorance. Arrognant is the adjectival form. ­čÖé I guess it hasn’t quite caught on yet.

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