C-Flo Tackles English & Public Schools (Tip #1: You’re vs. Your vs. Yore)

“I have only come here seeking knowledge, things they would not teach me of in college.”

–Sting

Since public grade school is just a glorified babysitting service these days, I thought I’d write a series on English basics that are no longer taught properly. With that in mind, where better to start than with the most common mistake I see?

You’re: A contraction of you are

Your: Showing possession; referring to something owned by the person being talked about

Yore: Long ago

Examples: You’re a moron. You’re human. You’re a welder. Your dog. Your cat. Your car. Back in the days of yore.

Sample sentences: You’re going to get your car back soon. In the days of yore, they didn’t have cars.

People who make basic grammatical mistakes like this love to ridicule “grammar Nazis” for correcting or helping them. It’s a bizarre juxtaposition; they pretend they don’t care, that no one cares. But they’re always vicious and obviously embarrassed, exposing the lack of caring as a lie. It’s like the kid on the playground who loses and says he wasn’t trying. In both cases, the jackass tried and failed.

It’s partly our public school system’s fault. Not only do they not drill the basics into kids, but they teach them to value memorization and regurgitation over learning why and how things work. It’s easier for teachers to get through this charade by putting kids on the conveyor belt. Cram, exam, forget. Move on. Is it home time yet? Is it Friday yet? Is it summer yet?

It’s easier to tell people what to think than how to think. Not understanding you’re vs. your vs. yore may seem trivial to some, but it reveals larger problems. Chief among them is exposing people for faking everything. If they don’t know something this basic, what else don’t they know? Likely, anything. In a world of constant texts, emails, and social media, your spelling and grammar proficiency is constantly being tested, especially in business, the thing school is supposed to prepare you for. I don’t care what degree someone has or what their CV says, if their spelling and grammar are lacking, they aren’t getting my business. I’ll walk away wondering how they could be so unprofessional.

I don’t expect anyone to know everything. But we in the developed world have instant access to Google and dictionary.com at virtually any moment of our lives. My English is excellent, yet I use these references all the time. Avail yourself of them and teach yourself what your schooling probably didn’t.