You’re Killing Me with Your Words!

May 13, 2008

That’s right… You are killing me with the words of or related to you.

Not to be mistaken for: “Your killing me with You’re words.”

The sadly prolific problem of people using “your” in place of “you’re” drives me crazy. I usually just let it go. But today, I cannot.

I have seen it 7 times today. SEVEN TIMES. The first time made me cringe. The second time was just annoying. The third time was beyond obnoxious. And by the fourth time, it had become near excruciating.

Number 6 brought the outburst. I looked up and saw an offending your on the white-board of the briefing room. I could keep silent no more. “That’s the sixth time I’ve seen that today!!!” Which opened the door to a shockingly emotional rant about incorrect words. Actually, I managed to contain most of my passion about this problem and subdued the rant before it completely took off. But more frustration oozed out than I meant to ever display.


When you’re saying “You are”, you simply form a conjunction. Lose the space and the a and replace them with an apostrophe.

You’re = You are

When your intended usage is to describe something of or related to “you”, you just tack on the r.

Your = of or related to you

It’s far easier to get straight than who and whom. It’s SO much easier than Me and I. It’s even easier than too, to, and two. And yet… “your” is probably stated billions of times more than it is meant EVERY SINGLE DAY.

While I am ranting about your and you’re… let me just briefly mention one other little… annoyance.

Lest and Unless.

Sigh. I don’t even want to mention what people have been doing with these words. Worship and chorus leaders all around the IHOP clock are singing things like this to God:

“We can’t come to You for fear that You might draw us.”

“We would be going to hell for fear that You would save us.”

“We won’t make it for fear that You will give us strength.”

Lest is not just a cute little abbreviated way of saying unless! It means something FAR different.

Sigh… but when a certain chief singer of IHOP starts doing something, it catches pretty quickly. Unfortunately… even chief singers have their problem areas.

Wow… it feels good to get that out.

Unfortunately, these things aren’t going to change. I could hope… but hope deferred makes the heart sick. And this is already making me sick.



  1. Oh… the 7th time, my beloved roommate:

    “Just couldn’t help doing this after you said your so bothered by incorrect grammar.”

    Not quite the compassion you would expect from a fellow grammar snob. Why, Amanda? Why???

  2. I understand what you’re saying and you’re correct, of course. Except that I don’t know that it’s easier to avoid than the other common errors you cite. To me, you’re/your, there/they’re/their, here/hear and to/too/two are all similarly easy to get wrong because they’re such common words and sometimes, though I obviously know the difference, my fingers are just driven by the sound–and, even, perhaps, by the desire for a pun.

    Who/whom and me/I, in contrast, are much easier to get right because they are clearly and logically different forms . . . and they sound different. Sigh. Those are the ones that grate on my nerves. It doesn’t help that people get them wrong precisely because they think they’re getting them right, and they’re often arrogant about it–which is sometimes unintentionally amusing but even then still annoying.

    It does actually make me proud that you’re standing up for the language, but don’t be a grammar snob; they’re meanies. (Mortal Syntax is pretty good, too. As is her blog.)

  3. Oh, Christine, I’m feeling you on this one! I’ve been over run by “your” and “you’re” in the last few days! I agree with you that it is terribly easy to understand; I mean, they teach it in THIRD grade! I came across an incorrect “your” on a message board the other day and assumed it was a typo, until in the very next sentence there was an incorrect “you’re”!

  4. Lest we forget, this abuse eminates from days of your, no you’re, no… uh 😉

  5. It’s funny you would say that, because my first thought was to respond with “I understand what yore saying . . .” Now I can pretend that I don’t ever torment her and it’s just those Beatties. 😀

  6. It’s a public service burdon I bear with relish, mustard, and several serviettes.

  7. We’ll take the blame with pleasure, Joel, if you’ll help torment our daughter, too!

  8. And while we’re ranting…..I can’t stand that people are using the word “up or upped” when they should be saying raised or increased or elevated or whatever!!!! Is upped even a word?? This is not just in people speaking, but I am reading it in newspaper headlines, in advertisements. Did I miss the announcement that said this is correct word usage?

  9. Brian and Dorean: I’m not sure how Amanda will feel about that, but, well, who am I to deny a simple request from loving parents? Nice use of serviette, by the way.

    Mom Damme: I have to confess that I’m kind of a fan–or at least a practitioner–of verbing, nouning, adjectification, etc. I’m sorry, that must sound like nails across a chalkboard. If it makes you feel better, “up” as a verb is not one of my favorites.

    Christine: My first comment continues to say that it’s awaiting moderation. I think maybe its several links have flagged it as spam–but they are ones I am eager to share.

    I think y’all would enjoy June Casagrande, the subject of said links. And, no, as she says at her promo page, she wasn’t born in the summer and she doesn’t live in a big house.

  10. I’m not sure exactly how I stumbled across your blog, except that I like to read blogs from other Christians and probably some IHOP blog I read led me to yours, but as a person who taught English to middle and high schoolers, and now teaches college, and STILL sees “your a good teacher” I sigh. I don’t know you, but I am with you.

    PS Love the blog in general, by the way.

  11. I love that I am not alone in my bothered state. 🙂 (Not because I rejoice in the fact that you are all suffering. Rather, I rejoice in the fact that someone else cares. Then again… misery loves company.)

    Susan – Thanks!

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