It doesn't apply to everyone of course, but the grammar displayed by many North Dakotans online is absolutely pitiful.

In the early days of internet communication, when most people still wrote to people using pen and paper, grammar mistakes weren't a big deal.

But in this day and age where the internet is basically the only means of representing yourself, it's time to get your grammar correct.

There's basic grammar, and then there's more complex grammar. I only need to focus on basic grammar. That's the stuff you need to get right.

It boggles my mind how often I see tweets from people in North Dakota or Facebook comments in events, pages, and groups where the basic grammar is absolutely pathetic. I suppose you can call me one of those 'Grammar Nazi's.

And obviously these grammar errors are not by any stretch limited to North Dakota. They happen everywhere. But I happen to spend much of my internet time in 'North Dakota' related areas and it sticks out to me.

I know sometimes we write things quickly and make a mistake. Mistakes are OK. I make mistakes sometimes. But some people make habitual mistakes, indicating potentially, a lack of understanding of grammar rules.

So with that being said, let's just go over some basic grammar rules so that way you can get them right moving forward. "It's only Facebook" is not an excuse anymore. You get a pass on some stuff. If you don't capitalize the name of a TV show for example (or even the start of a sentence), that's alright. We can let that slide on social media.

Let's get to it:

There, They're and Their

'There' usually represents a location of some sort. For example, "look over there." Or, "He's over there." It could also be used as a pronoun to start a sentence. For example, "there is a heaven" Or, "There is no such thing as the boogeyman."

'They're' is short for 'they are.' This is literally the only use for it. "They're stupid."

'Their' is possessive. "That is their blanket." "That is their car." "Look at their terrible grammar."

Two, To, and Too

I rarely see anyone use 'two' incorrectly. 'Two' is a number. Two = 2. "These two idiots are really bad with grammar."

One use of 'too' is a way to say "also." "Sally is really bad at grammar. Johnny is really bad at grammar too."

"I'm going to the store." "Me too."

'Too' can also be used to describe something in excess. For example, "there's too much cheese on this pizza." Of course as we all know, there can never be too much cheese on pizza. (Notice my correct usage of the word 'there' and 'too' in that sentence).

"Leroy was slapped in the face due to his terrible grammar."

"That's too bad."

It's difficult to explain how the word to is used in simple terms. Just know that when you aren't referring to a number or using one of the two meanings for 'too,' that you should use 'to.'

Women and Woman

'Women' is plural. "Those two women are pretty bad at grammar."

Woman is singular. "I'm looking for a really intelligent woman to spend the rest of my life with."

(We'll talk about ending sentences with prepositions when we get into high school).


Would've is short for 'would have.' 'Would of' is not a phrase.

"I would of gone to the store if there wasn't 19 feet of snow on the ground." That doesn't mean anything.

"I would have gone to the store if there wasn't 19 feet of snow on the ground."

You're and Your

You're means 'you are.' If you are not saying anything where 'you are' makes sense, then you use 'your'

"Your grammar is terrible."

"You're being a grammar Nazi."

Then vs Than

Than is used to make a comparison.

"The author of this article is significantly snobbier than the people reading this article."

Then is used to indicate time.

"I'm going to the gym, and then I'm going to shower."

"I used to be terrible at grammar, but then I learned proper grammar."

Couldn't care less vs Could care less

If you really really really really really don't care about something, then that means you couldn't care less. In other words, you physically do not have the capability to care less.

If you could care less, that means… well… that you could care less. It means you have the ability to care less. There's typically never a situation where you would say, "I could care less."

Someone could tell you, "North Korea just launched a nuclear bomb at North Dakota." Responding with, "I could care less" is probably an accurate statement but still an odd way to respond to that statement.

Some other items of note:

Lose means to misplace something (or to not win a game). Loose refers to your pants not being tight enough. 

'Irregardless' is not a word.… I mean it sort of is… but really it isn't. Just say 'regardless'

Someone is one word.

A lot is two words.

Principal is a school administrator. A principle is a belief, rule, or theory.

It's stands for 'it is.' Its is possessive despite the lack of the apostrophe.

Peace refers to non-violence. Piece refers to a part of something.

Who's means 'who is.' Whose refers to ownership. For example, "Whose water bottle is this?"

Have fun out there.