The internet has come a long way since the days of "text speak", with many users opting to use full grammar and spelling. This is generally easier to understand and avoids making yourself look a bit, well, dumb! Plus, with predictive text on smartphones it is actually often more effort to shorten words, and most phones will automatically correct spelling errors.
We have seen many an online argument about your/you're for example and in August, Facebook announced that the majority of users no longer say ‘lol’ – preferring to use ‘haha’ instead.
So it would seem text speak is officially out!
Don't Get Too Lazy
However, there is only so much correcting smartphones can do. The English language is full of confusing idioms, homonyms and other wordy trickery that seem to have been designed to trip you up.
Luckily, Mental Floss have compiled a handy list of 20 common word usage mistakes.
Here are a couple of our favourites:
"When you want to talk about the influence of one thing on another, effect is the noun and affect is the verb. Weather affects crop yields. Weather has an effect on crop yields. Basically, if you can put a the or an in front of it, use effect."
We admit it – this one gets us. Every. Single. Time.
"This pair causes the most trouble in the phrase sneak peek where the spelling from sneak bleeds over to peek, causing it to switch meaning from "a quick look" to "a high point." If you imagine the two Es as a pair of eyes, it can help you remember to use peek for the looking sense."
Now THIS one is so common, it has its own Twitter account dedicated to it. @StealthMountain tells Twitter users every time they type ‘sneak peak’ instead of ‘sneak peek.’ Though no longer active, the account managed to amass over 433 thousand corrections in just over two years.
Surely a sign that the phrase is somewhat overused…