I read a social media post where the writer was, quite rightly, enthusing about their degree success.
Wonderful. Lovely. Many congratulations. Degrees are hard work. Success should be celebrated.
That was how I was feeling until they wrote:
“I couldn’t of wished for more.”
It got me cross. And frustrated. I hear it from so many people. And it’s just so disappointing.
I suppose if they’d worked for me I’d have pointed it out. But I usually take the stance of not trying to educate other perpetrators of this heinous crime. I know it can come across as superior and condescending at the same time. And sometimes you simply have to choose what battles to fight.
I once taught typewriting to Lilian. She was a lovely, mature Geordie woman. She used this phrase .. “I would of…” often. When I asked her about it she said everyone back at home said it. She genuinely didn’t know it was wrong. But then she also, genuinely (absolutely true) didn’t know the difference between “has” and “as” – I had to explain after I’d had to mark down a piece of work she’d typed for me, full of has and as typos. She learnt about of usage the hard way – but was then more than happy when her new-found knowledge raised her assessment from a pass to a distinction.
So, of. Why does this bother me so much? My children would say (and over the years they certainly have – thanks kids) that it doesn’t matter. Rather interestingly, their grammar is pretty darned hot. Hmm, I wonder why?
Perhaps I need to let it go? Should I be practising the non-judgemental stance that I always advocate for a good coaching relationship? Yes, probably I should.
But refuse to bristle whenever I come across this misuse? NO! NEVER!!!
As my children were growing up, they became used to me correcting their grammar – even if it was on just the odd occasion – as I said, they got the hang of it pretty quickly. But they had a favourite retort:
“Mum, you’re not the Queen.”
No, but I do speak her language. And will continue to do so.
Standards! They’re everything.
What I choose to do about them is something else entirely.