No, I’m not the kind of person who runs around correcting every grammar mistake everyone makes. Hell, I make a lot myself! But there is 1 error that I see constantly when talking with people online, and I just really don’t get how people can get confused – and it’s just really annoying!
There’s two parts to this: People who have english as their first language, and people who have it as their second. The first ones have no excuse to not know that they’re making an error. The second ones I guess can be forgiven, though I hope their English teacher corrected them and they were just too unobservant to get it or something.
Here’s a prime example of what I mean:
“Could of been worse OP… you could of asked a creepy TSA dude…”what’s taking so long! Just examin my ass or whatever and let me get going will you please!””
The person who wrote this is (at least according to his profile) a 42-year-old male from Atlanta, USA.
Now, doesn’t this hurt other people’s eyes? “Could of”… “Could of”. Of. Of.
1 expressing the relationship between a part and a whole : the sleeve of his coat | in the back of the car | the days of the week | a series of programs | a piece of cake | a lot of money.
2 expressing the relationship between a scale or measure and a value : an increase of 5 percent | a height of 10 feet.
• expressing an age : a boy of fifteen.
3 indicating an association between two entities, typically one of belonging : the son of a friend | the government of India | a photograph of the bride | [with a possessive ] a former colleague of John’s.
• expressing the relationship between an author, artist, or composer and their works collectively : the plays of Shakespeare | the paintings of Rembrandt.
4 expressing the relationship between a direction and a point of reference : north of Chicago | on the left of the picture.
5 expressing the relationship between a general category and the thing being specified which belongs to such a category : the city of Prague | the idea of a just society | the set of all genes.
• governed by a noun expressing the fact that a category is vague : this type of book | the general kind of answer that would satisfy me.
6 indicating the relationship between a verb and an indirect object
• with a verb expressing a mental state : they must be persuaded of the severity of the problem | I don’t know of anything that would be suitable.
• expressing a cause : he died of cancer.
7 indicating the material or substance constituting something : the house was built of bricks | walls of stone.
8 expressing time in relation to the following hour : it would be just a quarter of three in New York.
Where, in any of this, does anyone get the impression they should use of with could? No where, that’s where.
Americans, British people, Australians – everyone else who uses English as their first language – get it right! Because if people who have this language as their first language can’t get it right and use the wrong version everywhere, then no wonder everyone else does.
Also as reference, see: http://grammartips.homestead.com/couldof.html
Now time to get pet food and bake some muffins! Have a nice day, everyone.