If you ever find me committing one of these grammar/spelling/punctuation errors, please throw rocks at me. Seriously. I am so astonished by otherwise intelligent writers who apparently did not graduate second grade. Or, if they did graduate second grade, have since forgotten everything they learned about writing. (and I am not an 'authority'...but I know these mistakes can be easily corrected; for better info visit Grammar Girl.)
It's not hard, folks. Let's begin:
When you're referring to a thing, an event, a product, whatever... the word is "its." No apostrophe. When you type "it's"...you're saying, "It is." I'll give you some slack here because this is sometimes a "too fast fingers" issue, and not always an error. Maybe it's not your fault.
You're...is the contraction for "you are." Your is possessive. "You're beautiful," not, "Your beautiful." When I read sentences like that...I just cringe. And mentally wonder if the writer's second grade teacher is reading. If so, he/she must be appalled.
Then instead of "than." Then is a frame of time. Than is an either or... "Then she said..." meaning after one thing, came another. "This is better than..." meaning a comparison. "Apples are better than grapes." (note- I am not citing specific grammatical terms, I'm merely trying to show people the how and why...in terms they can understand.)
Their ... not "there or they're." For instance, "Their biggest concern..." which relates to more than one person's concern over whatever the topic is. "There" is a place. "Not over here, over there." And, they're...oh please, why do I even need to tell you that one? It's the contraction for "they are."
Last but definitely not least, the punctuation goes INSIDE the quotation. Whether it's a question mark, a period, or a comma, if it's part of something someone said, it belong INSIDE the end quotation.
No doubt I have left some fundamental mistakes out of my tirade. If I have committed an error in MY punctuation, grammar, or spelling...here or in any other post, I would appreciate a note. This post was generated by discovering a typo in a previous post I wrote and being appalled at myself for not proofing properly.
Let it be known that I don't have a problem with real typos - everyone gets "fast finger" syndrome now and then (where you type so fast the keyboard can't keep up and typos are bound to appear), but these errors are NOT typos. They're either sloppiness or stupidity.
Be smart and neat. And, call out others who are not. Even me.