Debunking Common Grammar Myths

Our proofreaders gathered a few of their favorite grammar myths into one enlightening blog.


Grammar, despite all its ironclad rules and requirements, can sometimes feel unpredictable. One minute you think you know all the right moves, and the next minute there’s a new twist you didn’t see coming. To help alleviate some of this confusion, we’re sharing a few of our proofreaders’ favorite grammar myths from a recent Grammar Girl post below.


1.    “That’s not even a word.” –

What exactly defines a “real” word? Merriam-Webster created this informative infographic in an attempt to explain the process. However, nonstandard terms can sometimes reach enough widespread usage where they are categorized as a word. Example: irregardless. Although these certain terms are considered “real” by being defined in the dictionary, it doesn’t mean they are strong or effective when it comes to writing and speaking. We recommend you choose wisely, especially depending on your topic and audience.

2.    A Quick Lesson on “A” and “An” – 

Somewhere along the way, most of us were told “a” is used before consonants and “an” is used before vowels. End of story. The truth is, if the following word in the sentence sounds like it starts with a consonant use “a,” and if it sounds like it starts with a vowel, use “an.” Example: I’d love an M&M, but I’d prefer a peanut M&M.

3.    Dolores’ Favorite of Dolores’s Favorite –

The possessive form of words that end in “s” is one grammar issue we regularly see get questioned. And rightfully so. There are many different “rules” around this puzzling punctuation, however, there’s a simple truth. Both ways are correct. The fact is, it’s all up to the style you choose to follow for your communications. As always, we recommend you keep things consistent by only choosing one.


If these common myths weren’t eye opening for you, you just might be a grammar geek like the rest of us. But, if you’re looking for more ways to up your grammar game (and wow your friends at parties), check out the rest of the top 10 list.


By: Andrea Liseno, Copy Editor

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