Grammar Giggle – Envelop/Envelope

A reader sent this one to me. It took some researching for me to confirm that the warm water would “envelop” your body. Here is the Merriam Webster online dictionary definition of “envelop” and “envelope”

  • Envelop – transitive verb
    • 1: to enclose or enfold completely with or as if with a covering
  • Envelope – noun
    • 2: something that envelops: WRAPPER
      • the envelope of air around the earth

A transitive verb is defined as “a verb that requires a direct object, which is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that follows the verb and completes the sentence’s meaning by indicating the person or thing that receives the action of the verb.”

In this example, you are talking about the action the water takes on your body (direct object, which is a noun). Envelop is the correct word here because it will “enclose or enfold completely with or as if with a covering.”

Grammar Giggle – Apostrophes and Plurals

This example illustrates my pet peeve–using apostrophes to make a word plural. This was in our local Motor Vehicle Division office where I was renewing my driver’s license. They used the apostrophe incorrectly not once, but twice! Let me say this again, louder for the people in the back: You do not use an apostrophe to make a word plural. You only need the letters “s” or “es” for that depending on the word. You use an apostrophe only for showing possession or in a contraction to show where a letter or letters have been left out. If you have questions about that, check out Astrophail!

Grammar Giggle – NFL News

A local newspaper was apparently so intent on getting news out about rumors of a possible NFL trade that they forgot to read the news story. Here is just one paragraph of that story that I found three errors in–and I’m not even a real football fan!

Grammar Giggle – Accessaries

This was on a box in a package I received from something I had ordered on Amazon. I try to have lots of grace with things that aren’t spelled correctly according to American style in another country, but if merchandise from another country is being shipped for sale here in America, I think they need to take the extra time to make sure the instructions make sense and the packaging is correct. The reverse is also true–if an American is selling products in other countries, they should make sure that the instructions and packaging make sense in the country where they are marketing their merchandise.

Grammar Giggle – Before Or After?

I saw this online in a breaking news alert for a local television station. It was confusing because the breaking news headline said the shooting occurred “before” the car crashed (and they also used an unnecessary comma), but when I clicked on the actual news story, that headline said the shooting occurred “after” the car crashed. This is an example of why it is important to actually read what you’re writing and not trust that even if everything is spelled correctly, it is correct.

Grammar Giggle – No, You’re Nuts!

I saw this sign recently on a TikTok and couldn’t resist. This is a very common error. Just remember that “your” is something belonging to YOU, while “you’re” is a contraction for YOU ARE. Replace the word in question with “you are” and you’ll see that that is the one that works. Unless, of course, you are talking about the nuts that belong to you–which doesn’t make any sense. LOL!

Grammar Giggle – Easy To Assemble, But Difficult To Read

A friend sent me these assembly instructions for a desk she purchased. I assume the manufacturer’s first language is not English, but instructions on something you are selling in the United States are kind of important and they should take more care with translations. I am really impressed, however, with the proper use of “It’s” in the last sentence.

Grammar Giggle – Pease Pay More Attention!

I snapped this picture over the holidays at a local drive-through restaurant. The first, “day,” is singular yet they list several days. The second, “pease,” is obviously meant to be “please.” I realize “Drive Thru” is also incorrect as it should be hyphenated, but the spelling is listed in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary as a variant or less common spelling. It is fine for this casual use, but I would not use it in legal documents.