Friday, October 15, 2010


I'm preparing for a big photo-shoot tomorrow and hope to show you the results over the weekend. In the meantime, can I vent?

I'm not really a pedant but there's one language error I see people make every day and it annoys the crap outta me. I just saw one of my favoritest bloggers do it and I'm sure she didn't know it was mistake.

When referring to a thing you mentioned earlier, it is okay to use the word "that." For example, you can write: "the car that I hit."

When referring to a person, however, you cannot use "that" -- it's wrong and sounds bad. The correct word to use when referring to a person you mentioned earlier is "who". As in, "the girl who dresses funny." Do not say, "the girl that dresses funny" because she is a person, not a thing.

Here's what I just read: "she is one of the few people that get my humor." Doesn't it sound better to say, "she is one of the few people who get my humor"?

I'm not mentioning any names...


  1. I do this quite often, I'm sure. It's just typing quickly and not thinking. Or editing what you wrote and missing it time and time again because it's familiar work so you miss it. I know that when I do my blog posts I probably commit many spelling/grammar mistakes, there are probably a hundred in this comment.

    Some schools do not teach grammar anymore or they do it as a "chapter." I decided to take an entire semester of grammar and I still make mistakes, usually out of my own laziness :)

    Completely unrelated to writing but I get really annoyed when people don't use their car blinkers. Huge pet peeve of mine!

  2. I'm starting to worry that maybe this post will be taken the wrong way and am considering taking it down. Honestly, I'm not being critical of other people or of blogs in general.

    I know it's hard to write -- and admirable to try -- so I'm not criticizing those who attempt it. The nub of my complaint is not that people are ignoring a trivial rule but, rather, that people are saying something that shouldn't sound right to their ears. When you write, you listen to your words in your head and, when they sound wrong, that should sound an alarm, causing you to question whether there's an error embedded in the words.

    My complaint is that I'm surprised people aren't "hearing" any alarm when they write this way. I do. In fact, it rings to me like a fire-bell.

  3. lol sorry Ralph! I do this sooo much it's annoying. I tend to not even read over what I write, which is really bad. There are a TON of mistakes on my blog posts and it makes me angry later when I see them.

    On another note, I hate it when people say "who" instead of "what". At work, I will say "Did you check in that Mobil order?" and the response I get is "Who?", Not "Pardon?" not "What did you say?" but "Who?". Then I go and call my friend an it. -_-

  4. Whew... thanks, Sara, for not taking this the wrong way. I love your writing and your voice.