I constantly run into mistakes in English here and elsewhere that you'd think people would have got right eventually simply by listening or reading. Following are some examples. Got some examples that drive you nuts?
I use to drink too much.
In this sentence, "use" needs a final "d." This mistake is most likely made by people who learn their English from tweets or chats, not from reading actual literature, much less paying attention in class.
I would of helped, but I was pressed for time.
It should be "have" not "of." Otherwise, same speculation as before.
My intervention had the desired affect.
His unplaceable accent and hesitant way of walking gave him a strange effect.
They are somewhat confusing in that both "effect" and "affect" can be used as verbs as well as nouns, but the difference isn't all that hard to learn.
The city gave Mary many kudos for her efforts.
The Greek word "kudos" is singular, not plural. "The city gave Mary kudos for her efforts" is correct. Maybe it's simply best to use words that are familiar rather than going beyond your everyday vocabulary into the dark territory of foreign words, and Greek is much further into that dark territory than, say, Spanish or German.
If you want a price, ask the manager or myself.
Only use "myself" when you've already used "I." Otherwise, plain old "me" will do.
Me and Jeff are going to the concert together.
I typically remember that "me" needs a preposition: with me, for me, to me. In the example sentence, "me" should have been "I." "I and Jeff are going to the concert together " sounds wrong, you say. Well, it is, but only because of poor sentence construction. "Jeff and I are going to the concert together" or, better yet, "I am going to the concert with Jeff" are both correct in every way and won't have literate people wishing they could unhear what you just said.
Sign at cash register: Ten items or less.
When talking about a count or enumeration of things, it should be "fewer" not "less." "Less" is for a gross quantity not an enumeration. "Less sugar in my coffee next time" is an example of how to use "less."
Purple is different than/to violet.
We talked about this here recently. If "Purple is different from violet" sounds wrong to you, you need to go back to school and take English over again.
He returned to the scene continually.
The term "continually" refers to something done without interruption. When expressing that something happens repeatedly, "continuously" is the word to use.
Leaving an entire syllable off isn't a matter of accent, it's a matter of misunderstanding.
Did I miss it? Isn't the Spanish pronunciation of Los Angeles something like Los (with a nice round "o") Ahn-HAY-leez?
I know what you mean - I can't count the nights I've tossed and turned over THAT one!
...or pronounce the "r" like an American "r" and not vaguely like a "w."
How about what I often hear in Western PA!
"That car needs washed" or similar.
This missing " to be" drives me nuts. I have often wondered about this common grammatical error.
Another pet peeve. Pronunciation of the word, "DOESN'T". Quite often I hear "dutt-ent" Not really a grammar mistake but equally annoying!
I have always struggled with grammar such as commas, apostrophe, and double letters and so much more. In school they simply stuck me in special ed once a week where they didn't even bother to try and help which makes me wonder how many kids this happens to as teachers don't have the time to really help students just to get them through the grading system as quickly as possible and most parents will reject the thought of their child being held back ultimately damaging that child's education.
Individual online training in classrooms is increasingly effective. It automatically customizes material presentation and adaptive testing. I'll bet it's commonly implemented within five years, or at least planned. (It's happening in some of my classes, already, starting with math.)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you aren't in high school, though, are you?
That is correct. But I saw a program a week or two ago where it was being implemented in high school and even elementary school. (I think it was 60 Minutes, but I'm not sure.)
The adaptive testing is cool. I was the last one in the room to finish a test once, and I thought I must be really slow. But my test was actually longer because it kept giving me more and more complicated questions, while other students could not get as far.