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Pet PeevesOK, we know you have them, so let's hear them!Mine is an obvious one, but one...

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted July 28, 2008 at 6:42 AM via web

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Pet Peeves

OK, we know you have them, so let's hear them!

Mine is an obvious one, but one that seems to keep getting worse and worse-- apostrophes that aren't supposed to be there! 

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted July 28, 2008 at 10:16 AM (Answer #2)

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My biggest pet peeves with grammar/punctuation/mechanics are comma splices, sentence fragments and the use of second-person "you." Ugh.  I have to teach students about comma splices and sentence fragments EVERY single semester and it irritates me to no end.  They should already know what they are! I could SO rant on this question, so I'll leave it at that LOL!

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urthona | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted July 29, 2008 at 6:29 AM (Answer #3)

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My biggest pet peeve is inconsistency. Some grammar rules are debatable or arbitrary, but it's essential to be consistent.

That being said, disregard of the that/which rule (in American English) makes my head explode.

I agree with blazedale about errant apostrophes, especially with plurals for centuries and decades. 

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ermoran | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 29, 2008 at 10:02 AM (Answer #4)

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I think it's something that isn't talked about enough in school anymore. And I don't care what age the child is in the need to review grammar and everything every year!

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted July 29, 2008 at 7:48 PM (Answer #5)

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I think it's something that isn't talked about enough in school anymore. And I don't care what age the child is in the need to review grammar and everything every year!

  I agree that grammar simply isn't emphasized enough in school anymore.  This is why I have to do it in college more than I have time to do so.  I spend more time on grammar sometimes than I can say...LOTS of time.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 30, 2008 at 3:16 AM (Answer #6)

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I get irritated with subject/verb agreement.  The apostrophe thing also gets under my skin.  I was at the Flea Market just this past weekend and saw a sign:  Funnel Cake's 75 cents.

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mrerick | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted July 30, 2008 at 9:32 AM (Answer #7)

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I get irritated with subject/verb agreement.  The apostrophe thing also gets under my skin.  I was at the Flea Market just this past weekend and saw a sign:  Funnel Cake's 75 cents.

As our school's athletic director, I often get mailings from businesses that want us to use their services.  Imagine my delight the day I get a letter and business card from a place called "Here's Your Signs".  Love it...

 

Back on subject, borrow/lend drives me crazy as does seen/saw.  As a coach for three boys' teams, I get to hear these WAY too often.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 31, 2008 at 9:19 AM (Answer #8)

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I have several pet peeves:

impactful (ARGH!)

everyday when it's not the adverb

myself (as in my husband and myself--ugh!)

apostrophes used to make plurals

 

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mrerick | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted July 31, 2008 at 10:08 AM (Answer #9)

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Thought of another one that drove one of our previous English teachers bonkers - irregardless.  That's kind of like unthawing something from the freezer, right?

How about these in essays: shoulda, coulda, woulda...or even worse: should of, could of, would of.

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jamie-wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted August 1, 2008 at 1:45 PM (Answer #10)

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My pet peeves are clichés. I have an actual list of clichés that I distribute to my students at the beginning of each semester; the use of any of these will result in the deduction of a letter grade.  Here's a sampling of a few my least favorites:   

Each and Every.  The resort of the weak writer, like one and the same and any and all.   

In today’s society.  As opposed to yesteryear’s society?  Just “today” will be fine, thank you. 

In this day and age.  See above.  If you feel the need to write this down, smack self in head until the feeling goes away.

Bored to tears.  There has to be a more exciting way of complaining about boredom. 

Can of worms.  Don’t open this one too often.  And don’t unnecessarily disturb its cousins, nests of vipers and hornet’s nests. 

Cutting edge. Dull. 

Diamond in the rough.  Watch out for those pearls before swine, too.   

Draw a blank.    This is what you do when you run out of clichés. 

Few and far between.  This is what fresh expressions are becoming.   

Heated argument.  Is there any other kind?

(P.S.  I think some of these come from a great text I have called Woe is I but it's been cobbled together from my own gripes as well as those of others.)   

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted August 1, 2008 at 3:04 PM (Answer #11)

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My pet peeves are clichés. I have an actual list of clichés that I distribute to my students at the beginning of each semester; the use of any of these will result in the deduction of a letter grade.  Here's a sampling of a few my least favorites:   

Each and Every.  The resort of the weak writer, like one and the same and any and all.   

In today’s society.  As opposed to yesteryear’s society?  Just “today” will be fine, thank you. 

In this day and age.  See above.  If you feel the need to write this down, smack self in head until the feeling goes away.

Bored to tears.  There has to be a more exciting way of complaining about boredom. 

Can of worms.  Don’t open this one too often.  And don’t unnecessarily disturb its cousins, nests of vipers and hornet’s nests. 

Cutting edge. Dull. 

Diamond in the rough.  Watch out for those pearls before swine, too.   

Draw a blank.    This is what you do when you run out of clichés. 

Few and far between.  This is what fresh expressions are becoming.   

Heated argument.  Is there any other kind?

(P.S.  I think some of these come from a great text I have called Woe is I but it's been cobbled together from my own gripes as well as those of others.)   

  Yes, I agree that cliches are a huge pet peeve.  Some we have in the "South" are:

 
"Cute as a button"

"Cool as a Cucumber"

ACK!  I nearly break out in hives when I hear them LOL!

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted August 5, 2008 at 7:29 AM (Answer #12)

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I hate it when kids get messed up by the placement of prepositional phrases:

"Each of the four trucks were red."

"No one among the five girls were going."

"People in Ethiopia is starving."

Okay, so maybe that last one was a bit extreme, but you get the picture. Some teachers are beginning to excuse this type of error quoting the "rule of proximity," but let's face it -- wrong is wrong is wrong.

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jtimm | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 13, 2008 at 5:00 PM (Answer #13)

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Most of my "favorites" from teaching 7th grade have mostly all been covered by previous posts (all of the "ofs" -- see #9, cliches -- see #10, and apostrophes to make plurals).

My all-time, number one favorite is the use of the word like: Like, there were a million people at the party." 

My second second favorite would be found mostly south of the Mason-Dixon line: the word "fixin."

Let's combine them, shall we?

Like, I was fixin' to say, she really was all that. 

For a good laugh (or a good cry, depending on your perspective), there is nothing that compares to a 7th grade essay written at the beginning of the school year. 

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jtimm | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 13, 2008 at 5:03 PM (Answer #14)

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Most of my favorites from teaching 7th grade have mostly all been covered by previous posts (all of the ofs mentioned in #9 and apostrophes to make plurals).

My all-time, number one favorite is the use of the word like: Like, there were a million people at the party.

My second second favorite would be found mostly south of the Mason-Dixon line: the word "fixin."

Let's combine them, shall we?

Like, I was fixin' to say, she really was all that.

For a good laugh (or a good cry, depending on your perspective), there is nothing that compares to a 7th grade essay written at the beginning of the school year.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 14, 2008 at 9:18 AM (Answer #15)

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Another pet peeve. Why is it that when someone is interviewed, he or she has to start with "I mean..."?

Reporter: "John, why do you think the Russians invaded Georgia?"

John: "I mean, they're just that way."

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted August 14, 2008 at 10:27 AM (Answer #16)

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In reply to #14: I'm with you about the "like" issue; especially among teenage girls. The "fixing" matter, however, is really more one of dialect or regional anomaly, and could be construed as correct -- after all, one of the synonyms for "fix" is "prepare." If you were preparing eggs, then reasonably, you could also be fixing them. Or, if you were preparing to tell me something, then logically, you might have been fixing to, as well. There's no such excuse for other area's verbal atrocities, however -- "youse guys?" Come on, now.
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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 17, 2008 at 2:45 PM (Answer #17)

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I love students who try to spell out their contractions, but end up falling off the log.  Example:  Could've = could of.  Argh!  I have seen this so many times at the high school level, and it astounds me that teenagers don't know what words are being contracted.

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rleahennis | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 20, 2008 at 8:53 PM (Answer #18)

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My pet peeve is the ever popular vague pronoun. Why tell the reader what you are actually referring to when you can just use the word it or thing, or stuff. 

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted August 21, 2008 at 3:26 PM (Answer #19)

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your, you're

their, there, they're

its, it's

Good grief, people, why are these really so difficult to get right?????? :)

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teach404 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 21, 2008 at 6:40 PM (Answer #20)

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My pet peeves are clichés. I have an actual list of clichés that I distribute to my students at the beginning of each semester; the use of any of these will result in the deduction of a letter grade.  Here's a sampling of a few my least favorites:   

Each and Every.  The resort of the weak writer, like one and the same and any and all.   

In today’s society.  As opposed to yesteryear’s society?  Just “today” will be fine, thank you. 

In this day and age.  See above.  If you feel the need to write this down, smack self in head until the feeling goes away.

Bored to tears.  There has to be a more exciting way of complaining about boredom. 

Can of worms.  Don’t open this one too often.  And don’t unnecessarily disturb its cousins, nests of vipers and hornet’s nests. 

Cutting edge. Dull. 

Diamond in the rough.  Watch out for those pearls before swine, too.   

Draw a blank.    This is what you do when you run out of clichés. 

Few and far between.  This is what fresh expressions are becoming.   

Heated argument.  Is there any other kind?

(P.S.  I think some of these come from a great text I have called Woe is I but it's been cobbled together from my own gripes as well as those of others.)   

My pet peeve is the use of there and their, know and no, its and it's, and alot instead of a lot. It just makes my skin crawl. Also, when someone says can I sharpen my pencil? I always say,"I don't know are you physically able to sharpen your pencil?" When they say that they are I tell them that when they are able to ask correctly and with correct grammar then I will allow them to use the pencil sharpener. Until they say,"May I sharpen my pencil?" they are not allowed to use the pencil sharpener. I think some of that goes over into manners but, they need that too. Oh, that reminds me... to, too, and two.

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted August 22, 2008 at 2:04 PM (Answer #21)

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Looks like some people too their apostrophe pet peeve a little too far: Grammar vigilantes busted

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katemschultz | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted August 22, 2008 at 3:58 PM (Answer #22)

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Awesome! I'd love to meet these guys and give them each a pat on the back!

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 22, 2008 at 5:36 PM (Answer #23)

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Looks like some people too their apostrophe pet peeve a little too far: Grammar vigilantes busted

Sounds like these guys have a little too much free time!

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted August 22, 2008 at 7:28 PM (Answer #24)

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Wow!  That is a very interesting story (the guys who have gone around correcting sign)...although their intentions are admirable, they apparently aren't good at thinking about what the consequences of doing this kind of thing would be LOL.

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pippin1313 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 25, 2008 at 11:52 AM (Answer #25)

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You know what kills me? Firstly, secondly, thirdly, in conclusion. I can count...I know where each paragraph comes in the order of things. Plus, as a marker for our national exams (in NZ), it reads as clumsy and immature.

Oh and 'a lot' as one word, 'in front' as one word...in fact anything that should be two words but for some unknown reason is written as one.

Students who say 'yous' or that they 'writ' something. Just why?

As for the random apostrophes! Have they started appearing in your advertisements yet? They are all through ours.

The horror...

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mclouse | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 26, 2008 at 7:52 AM (Answer #26)

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I can't agree enough with everything you all have written here.  I'd like to add to the list of irritants all of the texting lingo that has found its way into our students' papers. 

2 = two, too, to

4 = four, for

idk = I don't know

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Michael Foster | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 28, 2008 at 2:00 PM (Answer #27)

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Number one pet peeve is confusing of "its" and "it's."  Or perhaps I should say, the refusal to use "its" at all!  I even saw this on the local unversity's cable channel: "Like it's counterpart, KCEN...."

There also seems to be a fear of not including enough commas, therefore, they are, at all times, added, so as, not to be forgotten.

Michael Foster

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted August 29, 2008 at 5:52 AM (Answer #28)

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People who insist on 'whom' - bleah, it's nit-picking historic whimsy. Same with insisting on 'If I were you...

should of, could of, etc - (although perhaps English Teachers should carry some blame for that)

Starting written text with, "Well, I think..." The 'Well' irritates me no end, I don't know why.

Use of TXTSPK 2 right ur homwrk

Then we did this. Then we did that. Then he said this. Then He said that. (Notwithstanding the fact that there's a big poster on the classroom wall with FIFTY suggestions on how to progress the narrative)

Dry Pedants who take some kid's sparkling, imaginative, wonderful creation and then snip snip snip at the punctuation mistakes without seeing the good things.

 

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted August 29, 2008 at 7:02 PM (Answer #30)

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Another really annoying thing for me that I have told students to never do is say, "This paper is about...," "I will talk about...," etc.  Bleck.  Another is the use of second-person "you" to generalize.

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eabettencourt | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted August 30, 2008 at 2:11 PM (Answer #31)

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Whew!  I thought I got worked up over grammar!

I LOVE the last sentence of post #28.  It is absolutely true, in my opinion.  While grammar has its important place, we shouldn't get so incensed by grammatical errors that we overlook a student's ideas.  In my state's standardized testing, the content of the required essay is given far more weight than the grammar and mechanics.

That being said, I am a pretty big grammar nut.  You all should read, if you haven't yet, "Eats Shoots and Leaves" - it is brilliant!

Also, some of you may want to proofread your own posts for grammatical errors.  I counted several, not including post #27, which was clearly done for comic effect.

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted August 31, 2008 at 11:07 AM (Answer #32)

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Whew!  I thought I got worked up over grammar!

I LOVE the last sentence of post #28.  It is absolutely true, in my opinion.  While grammar has its important place, we shouldn't get so incensed by grammatical errors that we overlook a student's ideas.  In my state's standardized testing, the content of the required essay is given far more weight than the grammar and mechanics.

That being said, I am a pretty big grammar nut.  You all should read, if you haven't yet, "Eats Shoots and Leaves" - it is brilliant!

Also, some of you may want to proofread your own posts for grammatical errors.  I counted several, not including post #27, which was clearly done for comic effect.

  While I agree that content is, of course, very important, if one has poor grammar, that clearly gets in the way of good content!  If an instructor/teacher cannot get past the grammatical errors in one's essay because they are frequent, and in some cases, major errors, that clearly gets in the way of being able to understand the content because the instructor/teacher must re-read it several times.  

Also, I have a real problem with instructors from other disciplines that do not check grammar and do not care if their students' papers are grammatically correct.  What kind of message does this send the student?  That as long as their content is good, how they put it together does not matter?  I personally weight grammar nearly as important as content when I grade students' papers. Content/organization is 60% and grammar is 40%.  Wonderful ideas are great; however, we cannot use that to simply set aside the grammar errors.  I do not like excuses, so to me, I do not excuse grammar errors simply because the writer has brilliant ideas.  

I am off of my soapbox now. :-p 

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eabettencourt | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted September 1, 2008 at 6:56 AM (Answer #33)

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Whew!  I thought I got worked up over grammar!

I LOVE the last sentence of post #28.  It is absolutely true, in my opinion.  While grammar has its important place, we shouldn't get so incensed by grammatical errors that we overlook a student's ideas.  In my state's standardized testing, the content of the required essay is given far more weight than the grammar and mechanics.

That being said, I am a pretty big grammar nut.  You all should read, if you haven't yet, "Eats Shoots and Leaves" - it is brilliant!

Also, some of you may want to proofread your own posts for grammatical errors.  I counted several, not including post #27, which was clearly done for comic effect.

  While I agree that content is, of course, very important, if one has poor grammar, that clearly gets in the way of good content!  If an instructor/teacher cannot get past the grammatical errors in one's essay because they are frequent, and in some cases, major errors, that clearly gets in the way of being able to understand the content because the instructor/teacher must re-read it several times.  

Also, I have a real problem with instructors from other disciplines that do not check grammar and do not care if their students' papers are grammatically correct.  What kind of message does this send the student?  That as long as their content is good, how they put it together does not matter?  I personally weight grammar nearly as important as content when I grade students' papers. Content/organization is 60% and grammar is 40%.  Wonderful ideas are great; however, we cannot use that to simply set aside the grammar errors.  I do not like excuses, so to me, I do not excuse grammar errors simply because the writer has brilliant ideas.  

I am off of my soapbox now. :-p 

Agreed.  I never said grammar was not important.  I simply have seen far too many high school students give up trying to express their ideas in writing when grammatical mistakes are attacked, especially in early drafts.  It is my belief that a teacher should respond to ideas first, then help the student to edit grammatical errors. 

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litchick2011 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted January 22, 2009 at 7:12 PM (Answer #35)

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This has probably already been said, but my biggest pet peeve is when people hypercorrect....

"Just between you and I..."

I know it is snotty, but I really want to give an impromptu grammar lesson...."No, no, between is a preposition, making the pronouns after it objects of the preposition...so they must be in the objective case."

I think these folks would walk - off mid rant, so I have never tried this. 

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dreadrocksean | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 23, 2011 at 11:18 PM (Answer #37)

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I'm surprise that none of you commented on this, MY biggest PP.  The incorrect use of the verb To Be masked within an apostrophe.

"There's many ways to go about this."

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