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Deb Peterson

Are You Guilty of These Grammar Mistakes?

By April 2, 2014

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There are degrees of just about everything, depending on your view of the world. In 5 Quick English Grammar Tips, I highlighted five grammatical errors I hear that drive me crazy.

Every once in a while I get an email from someone who takes issue with this article. Most often, people defend the use of "me and Tim." Sorry, but I stand firm on the error in that.

A while ago, I heard from Roy Jones who pointed out that it is sometimes correct to say, "It is broke." Here is his email, published with his permission:

Hi Deb,

I don't really mean to be picayune, but I take some exception with Item 5 of your tips, regarding the use of the word 'broke'.

I realize that I am using the word with a somewhat different meaning but your tip suggests never using 'It is broke".

However, if you were to ask me, "Why did you not give your business to XYZ Savings and Loan", might I not reasonably say "It is broke!"?

I am, as you appear to be, almost fanatical about the use of proper grammar (and spelling) but I still like it if someone points out to me that I have made a mistake. And I have to admit, grudgingly, that typos are not necessarily spelling errors, but may be simply typos.

It was just something I learned along the way; never say "Never".


You've got to love someone who uses the word "picayune." Nice to meet you, Roy, and good example.

Your assignment today (not you, Roy) is to use the word "picayune" in a sentence. Correctly.

Make it a grammatically great day.


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