English 101 – Spellings & Meanings


  • There is American English and then there is English for the ROW
  • On top of that there is slang English
  • It can be quite a task keeping on top of all that vocabulary
  • However, the following words should never be and can never be interchanged

Why did I choose this topic, you ask? Well, it all started one day when this person at work wrote the following in an email:

Your in charge of getting the project outline together. The software team will not be doing this. Their busy working on getting the specification sheet ready”

The person who wrote the email is an American who was born and raised in English, if I may say so.

Now, I am not a native speaker of English and I know that it isn’t fair to blame a non-native speaker for grammatical errors. But if you are a native speaker of English or went to an English medium school (English is the language in which subjects such as Math, science, history etc.. are taught apart from English as a language subject), you should at least know the difference in meaning between Your and You’re (or Ur in slang).

Your/You’re, Their/They’re, Its/It’s, are just some examples of basic English that people should never misspell. It completely changes the meaning of the sentence. It is completely understandable and acceptable if you’re new to the language. But if you’ve been speaking it for a while and have learnt the grammar associated it with it, PLEASE take some effort in correcting your spellings, proof reading your emails/documents before clicking the “Send” button. PLEASE! It’s like you know how to cook, know the difference between salt and sugar and yet you add sugar when you’re supposed to add salt. It changes the taste of the food entirely.

Quite frankly, when i see text messages or emails from friends, their misspellings in such words disappoints me.

Anyway, so here’s a little breakdown of the words I mentioned above:

  • Your – Possessive noun (ex: Your book, your pencil, your house)
  • You’re – Contraction of two words – You & Are (ex: You’re beautiful, you’re smart)

Their/they’re and Its/it’s  – explanation similar to the one above.

I believe that when in a professional environment, if you are not confident with your handle on English, it is courteous to apologize for any errors at the end of the email so that people take a note of the fact that English is not your first language. In fact, I have seen many bloggers and friends alike who let their audience know that their English may not be correct.

I fail to understand how Americans, native speakers of English can make such mistakes. It’s not that hard you know.

For Americans who misspell more words, I have some more words you can probably correct and add to your flashcards:

  • Lose – When you don’t win a chess game, you lose it
  • Loose – The opposite of tight is loose, ex: That knot is loose
  • Quite – Quantitative adjective. Ex: Quite a beautiful day, isn’t it?
  • Quiet – Opposite of loud is quiet. Ex: Why are you so quiet today?
  • Affect – verb (Ex: The drought affected the crop quality last year)
  • Effect – noun (Ex: Every cause has an effect)
  • Weather – Weather as in sunny, cloudy, rainy, etc.. (Ex: How’s the weather in New York today?)
  • Whether – Conditional word, so to speak. (Ex: Your grades in the exam will determine whether or not you get the wrist watch with the calculator on it.)

Note: I am not a native speaker of English, so please pardon my French 😉

Have a Fun Friday!! 🙂

 

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About One Change At A Time

Me - I just want to spread goodness and happiness... one good deed at a time.
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6 Responses to English 101 – Spellings & Meanings

  1. realanonymousgirl2011 says:

    Those are totally my pet peeves. Did no one pay attention in English class?

  2. Hanna says:

    This makes me embarrassed, my English writing is also not perfect. Thanks for these reminders!

  3. A lot of people where I live mis-spell things so they mean different things. And it’s annoying!!

  4. Stef says:

    Another one: principal, principle. (“The principal is your pal.”) 🙂

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