Back in early high school when I was an insignificant boy who thought “cynical” was equivalent to “sophisticated,” I started habitually correcting other people’s grammar. Now I know it’s much more effective to help than to criticize. So, here are the seven grammatical errors I most often notice when talking to people. I apologize for what you may consider a bland and boring post, but if I’m able to help a few people out then it’s worth it.

1. “I could care less”

Think about it. When you say you “could care less” with the intention to convey that you don’t care about something, you’re blatantly saying that you could care a little bit less than you already do, which means that you do care. If you want to to tell me that you do not care at all, say “I could NOT care less,” “I couldn’t care less,” or “I could care MORE.” That’s a lot of ways to not care.

2. “Affect” vs “Effect”

This one is easy. “Affect” is a verb and “Effect” is a noun. Likewise, “Effective” is an adjective. Correct examples:

“The effect of sleep on my mood is very profound.”

“I will affect you by driving your car into a wall.”

“My cat, Big Brown, is very effective at his role of being interesting, making funny noises, and sleeping like 18 hours every day.”

3. “Me,” “Myself,” and “I”

There are only two ways that you can properly say “Myself” and they are as follows: “I MYSELF am bothered that it will take me an entire 20 minutes for me to drive MYSELF somewhere to get a good donut. (You say “Myself” if you are the subject AND object.)

As for “Me” vs. “I,” this isn’t as hard as it seems. “I” is a subjective pronoun and “me” is an objective pronoun. “I” isn’t fancier than “me”; it’s just used differently.

Wrong: “Will you buy Raising Cane’s for Joe and I?”

Right: “Will you buy Raising Cane’s for Joe and me?”

Would I ever ask you to do something “for I?” No… and you wouldn’t either. But when there are several subjects or objects, people tend to suddenly neglect those simple rules.

Wrong: “You and me should go to uptown right now.”

Right: “You and I should go to uptown right now.”

Would you ever use “Me” as the subject of a sentence? Of course not. So don’t when there’s more than just you in the sentence either.

4. “Literally”

Wrong: “I’m literally dying to see the new Mission Impossible movie.”

You won’t literally die if you don’t see it, you won’t literally explode if you eat another burger, and you won’t literally hate the entire world when Childish Gambino stops rapping.

5. “Good” vs “Well” or “Quick” vs “Quickly”

“Good” and “Quick” are adjectives. “Well” and “Quickly” are adverbs. You can’t be a “quickly” walker or have a “well” basketball shot. Likewise, you can’t say “Can you do this for me real quick” or “You messed that up real good.”

6. “Anyways”

“Anyways” isn’t a word, but that’s okay because “Anyway” is.

7. “Who” vs “Whom”

Think about it this way: “Who” = “He” and “Whom” = “Him”

Wrong: “Who was that text about?” or “That text was about he.”

Right: “Whom was that text about?” or “That text was about him.”

Wrong: “Whom wrote this post?” or “Him wrote this post.”

Right: “Who wrote this post?” or “He wrote this post.”

Bonus: Following these rules, you would correctly say “Whom am I speaking to” rather than “Who am I speaking to.” But if you want to sound like a sly and cunning Victorian lad who owns many leather-bound books and writes poetry for leisure, then say: “To whom am I speaking.”

If this receives a generally positive reception, then I’ll do another grammar post in the coming months. Thanks for reading and, “from the heart of my bottom,” I hope you all have a good weekend.