Every year I look forward to the Christmas cards I receive from family and friends, and every year, there are the same errors in them. I hate to complain about these gorgeous cards, especially the ones where people actually take the time to write something inside (by hand or computer). But still, I end up questioning whether the brilliant light has gone out for my fellow magna cum laude friends when I read what they've put to paper. Here are my top three pet peeves that put a damper on the Christmas cheer.
1. "The Hansen's"
This is a ridiculously common error plastered on Christmas card envelopes throughout the world. The apostrophe + 's' has no business hanging out at the end of a family name.
Remember, an apostrophe + 's' at the end of a noun shows ownership, not plurality. What people mean to write on the front of my cards is, "The Hansens". Yes, we are a family of four, so we need that 's' on the end, but note that there is no apostrophe.
2. Confusing words: your/you're, their/there/they're
I like to believe that these are just typos, but it is important to remember the difference between these words.
'Your' shows ownership - your year, your family, your presents
'You're' is the contracted form of 'you are' - you're so special, hope you're great, you're the best
'Their' shows ownership, just like 'your' - their year, their family, their presents
'There' indicates location - the presents are over there, put the Christmas tree there
'They're' is the contracted form of 'they are' - they're on vacation, they're celebrating Christmas
3. No proofreading
It's rare that I receive a card that is hand-written anymore. The majority are long, detailed reports of the happenings of the last year, and they are typed, printed and sent in bulk to the masses.
This is why I'm always amazed by the number of glaring errors I find - missing words, misspellings, confused words (see above). I know we're all busy during the holidays, but Christmas cards deserve one extra proof-read just in case.
Sending a sloppily written card reflects poorly on you, makes you look frazzled and overwhelmed with the task. Of course, this is probably true at Christmas time, but you don't want all your friends to know that, do you?
What errors have you found on the Christmas cards you've received?
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