These simple grammar and design mistakes bother us. What annoys you?

By Sarah Young
Jul 26, 2023 | Columns, Blog, Grammar | Posted in Columns | Never miss an article

Since I started as an intern at this company in 2006, I’ve had a hand in about 17 years’ worth of our magazines–Grassroots Motorsports and our sister publication, Classic Motorsports. I’ve cast my eyes over almost every word that’s appeared in those 200-plus issues, checking for grammatical correctness and readability.

And after all these years as copy and design editor, I think I’ve earned the right to complain about a thing or two. Literally, I’m narrowing it down to two pet peeves. Errors that get to me irrationally.

The first one: Don’t say “myself” when you should be saying “I” or “me.”

John, Sam and myself worked as a team”? Nope.

Should be, “John, Sam and I worked as a team.”

Lots of people, including John and myself, ate lunch.” Nope.

Should be, “Lots of people, including John and me, ate lunch.”

In a world where miscommunications happen so easily, I like to think that the powers of grammar can help people get their point across–or at least stay out of the way.

But as design editor for GRM and Classic Motorsports, I also have a pet peeve about design.

You’ve seen grunge fonts, right? The letters are rough, as though some dirty process has worn them down. My second pet peeve is when one of these letters repeats, shattering the illusion that the grunginess is anything but built into a typeface.


A couple ways to avoid this annoyance: Apply the grunginess to the text yourself or use a font with alternates for repeated letters.

How about you? Do you have any grammar or design pet peeves?

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pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
7/26/23 8:47 a.m.

Can we *please* start an argument about one space behind a period or two?  I'm solidly in the two spaces camp myself, not that it matters, of course.  

Also the Oxford Comma; hot, or not?  I say hot.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
7/26/23 8:48 a.m.

Bathroom doors that say "Mens".  I see it almost every day. Drives me a little nuts. 

"Men" is plural. "Mens" is not a word. 

The sign should say "Men" or "Men's".

Ranger50 MegaDork
7/26/23 8:56 a.m.

They're their there

two to too

for sell

no punctuation run on sentences with multiple thoughts

Sonic UberDork
7/26/23 8:57 a.m.

"Needs replaced" or the like.  It's not hard to write "needs replacing" or "needs to be replaced" 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
7/26/23 8:57 a.m.

"Needs breaks"

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
7/26/23 8:59 a.m.

My own "your" instead of "you're". 

I know the difference, but my spellcheck often changes it to "your" when I type "you're"and it annoys me.   Sometimes I don't catch it. 

jharry3 GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/26/23 9:07 a.m.

Decimated (which means reduce by 10%), instead of devastated, for when something is completely destroyed.

Incredible (which means not trust worthy) instead of extraordinary.

Missing Oxford comma.

And, in the age of spell check, there is no excuse for misspelled words.  


Appleseed MegaDork
7/26/23 9:08 a.m.

"An historic..."  This does not follow the rules. 

A dog.

An apple.


bobzilla MegaDork
7/26/23 9:11 a.m.

was/were see/saw/seen. Those are both notorious Midwestern words misused consistently. 

bludroptop UltraDork
7/26/23 9:13 a.m.
SV reX said:

"Needs breaks"


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