10 Grammar Disputes I Might Have Settled in 2018
Every time you turn around, there are new grammar disputes in which people argue about how something should or shouldn’t be said.
The most popular posts on this blog tend to focus on grammar. That has been true for a while. Some of those posts, which generally attempt to solve grammar disputes, date back a few years, but continually reach the top of my “most viewed” list.
Here are the 10 most-read grammar posts over the past 12 months:
1. Splitting Image or Spitting Image?
This post, written back in 2015, was the most popular post of the past year. As I wrote back then, this is one of those questions that you probably already knew the answer to…at least until I asked.
But then, once you’re given a choice of the two nearly-identical terms, it’s easy to stop and think too much about it. The phrase is believed to have evolved from a quotation in the Bible.
2. Wifes or Wives?
This was another 2015 post that seemed to pick up some serious traction, for reasons I’m not sure about, last year. Words like life, wife and knife take a different form when they are plural. But a headline I saw, whose writer didn’t seem to know the rule, prompted the post.
3. Arctic vs Artic?
This post from 2013 came just as cold weather approached and people started talking about blasts from up north. Both are actual words, but only one of them refers to the cold.
4. Wheelbarrel or Wheelbarrow?
When I first wrote this back in 2015, I assumed most people would know the clear answer. Yet enough people have landed here to lead me to believe it wasn’t as commonly known as I thought.
5. Bad Rap or Bad Rep?
I wrote this post in 2013 and it has been near the top of my all-time biggest posts ever since. It’s one of those that you know without hesitation…until someone actually asks the question. The one that many people might choose when they see the two in front of them isn’t the right one.
6. Awe vs Aww?
Here’s another one from 2013. These words are pronounced nearly the same and look similar. But one means a feeling of wonder and the other is a sound we make to express sympathy. Can you tell which is which?
7. Ending Sentences with ‘At’?
This post, also written in 2013, was prompted by hearing one person too many ask the question, “Where is he at?” Bad idea.
8. Y’all or Ya’ll?
I’ve referred to y’all as the best Southern word that southerners can’t seem to spell correctly. There’s a lot of controversy, by the way, over how the phrase came to be, which you’ll see in the comments section from this 2016 post.
9. Common Sense or Commonsense?
For grammar posts, 2015 must have been a really good year! In this one, I point out that both versions are valid, depending on when and how they are used.
10. 10 Words That Sound Dirty But Aren’t
I suppose I should have expected a post with a title like that to rate pretty high, even if I didn’t expect to rank in the top 10. This post dates all the way back to 2013, which is a surprise to me because I thought it was a good bit younger than that. From cockle to dongle, I’ll admit that this was a fun post to write!
The fact that most of these posts are several years old is a function of the fact that they’ve been searched for a while and may benefit from the longer lifespan compared with newer posts.
Who knows? In a few years, it may be 2018 and 2019 posts that make the year’s most-read.
It’s also a good reminder to go back and check your archives: there can be plenty of hidden gems in there!