Grammar check – don’t make these embarrassing mistakes!

We all make grammar mistakes and it’s important to keep in mind that communication is the goal, no matter how you get there. But it’s always good to learn the rules, right? So here are a few mistakes we make and how to fix them.

I got this list from an article on, entitled “43 Embarrassing Grammar Mistakes Even Smart People Make” by Christina DesMarais. Check out the article for the full list. Here are a few of my favorites:

“Shoo-in” is what you really want to write when you’re trying to say that someone is a sure winner. It’s because when you “shoo” something you’re urging it in a certain direction.

The first-year anniversary
The use of the word “year” is redundant. “The first anniversary” or “the 50th anniversary” suffice.

Hot water heater
If anything, it’s a cold water heater. Just use “water heater.”

Given free reign
It’s easy to see why this one looks correct, considering that “reign” is something that kings, queens, and other sovereigns do. Yet the correct idiom refers to the reins which control a horse. When you give a horse “free rein” you let it go where it wants to go.

Tow the line
To “toe the line” means to follow the rules. It comes from runners who put their toe to the line before running a race.

I’m guilty of making some of these mistakes. Are you?

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