Monday, March 8, 2021

Curtains for “you’re,” and please don't reply “your right”

Reading Time: 3 minutesCurtains for “you’re,” and please don’t reply “your right” 

The managers of my office put up a sign saying: “Keep the door close”. Do they mean “closed,” or do they want me to take the door off its hinges and keep it close to me everywhere I go? Given their rationality levels, both are equally possible.
In my previous office, management put up a sign on the janitor’s office: “Cleaner room”. I glanced inside. It was cleaner than my room. But aren’t they all?
Some people get really upset about writing errors. A man angered by a misspelled sign outside a US government office tried to blow up the building with a hand-held bomb, a news report said last year. That’s crazy: You need a truck bomb.
Internet users frequently abuse me with the phrase “Your stupid”. I usually reply: “Yeah but at least I can spell you’re”.
This annoyed one correspondent recently into writing back: “Your a idiot”. I replied: “Yeah but at least I can spell an”. He replied: “Their’s different ways of spelling stuff moreon”. I replied: “Yeah but at least I can spell there’s and moron”. He hasn’t replied, no doubt because he is busy preparing a truck bomb to drive around to my office.
But frankly, it’s time to hold a funeral service for the word “you’re”. It went on my endangered list in 2007, when a US technology firm launched a major ad campaign with a two-word phrase: “Your on”. When you have a massive budget and just two words to handle, you’d think you’d get both of them right, but no. The same country saw the launch of an inn called the Your Welcome Inn, which suggests that three words is WAY too much.
By 2009, “your” was replacing “you’re” in about more than 50 percent of internet exchanges I monitored, and today “your” has triumphed almost completely. Modern dictionaries are governed by the “descriptive not proscriptive” principle, which means “your” will soon appear as a legitimate alternative for “you’re”.
A funeral should also be held for the phrase “every day”. When you write this as two words, it means “all the days”. When you write it as one word, it means “mundane”. So pop star Elvis Costello’s hit song Everyday I Write the Book means “Mundane I Write the Book”. The Coca-Cola Company’s slogan for Dasani bottled water describes it as a mundane drink, which is bang on target. One of the top songs sung in churches today is called Everyday which says all you need to know about modern Christian music.
As for punctuation, the saddest lost apostrophe of recent times must be the one in the photo a reader sent to me, showing a school in India owned by a certain Anu Sharma. The signmaker dropped the all-important apostrophe and thus the sign says ANUS ENGLISH ACADEMY. Sad but true.
I once had an online dispute with someone who told me: “Theirs nothing wrong with my Brian”. I congratulated her on her Brian’s health.
But, dear reader, let’s face facts. I propose that we, the last few people on earth to still use “you’re” should have a Save The Apostrophe meeting in a hotel or conference centre. But PLEASE, not at the Your Welcome Inn.
What’s the one grammar error that gets your goat? Let us know on our Facebook page.
Nury Vittachi


- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Latest News

mitali modi with kamala harris

Shattering glass ceilings: Mitali Modi on working with Kamala Harris

  Emboldened to take action in an era of heightened political polarisation, racial unrest and an uncontainable pandemic, young Indian American Mitali Modi talks here...
The free dialysis centre in Delhi's Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Source: @mssirsa/Twitter

Free-of-charge dialysis hospital at Delhi’s Bangla Sahib Gurudwara

  A 101-bedded dedicated free-of-charge kidney dialysis centre is up and running at the premises of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in New Delhi. The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara...

We asked children around the world what they knew about COVID

  During the pandemic, children have been separated from family and friends, schools have been closed and there have been limitations on important activities, such...

Flexible work arrangements help women, but only if they are also...

  Flexible workplace policies designed to improve gender gaps in employment and pay might actually make things worse for women. Flexible work has been on offer...
Guess The Song rj ekta

LISTEN: Will you be the one to correctly guess this tune?

  Are you good with guessing tunes? Keen ear for rhythm and beats? RJ Ekta might've been able to stump you with this one. She recently...