I know this is a subject which has been covered before, but I felt that I might as well make a foray into this fertile ground. If just one gratuitous spelling error is prevented by my speaking out on this subject, it will have been worth my while.
"It's" and "Its"
This is the classic prototypal and archetypal Slashdot English fuck-up. "It's" is a contraction of "it is". "Its" indicates possession. The only time you should use "it's" is in place of "it is", certainly nowhere else.
"Their", "There" and "They're"
Homonyms strike again. "Their" is another possessive, indicating ownership of an object by multiple objects. "There" is used in relation to location (often in conjunction with various conjugations of the verb "to be") or sometimes as an expletive ('There!'). Finally, "They're" is a contraction of the phrase "They are". These three entities are not equivalent to each other.
"Article" and "Artical"
"Article" is a word. "Artical" is not. There is absolutely no logical explanation for writing "artical" as opposed to "article". Even if your 'a', 'e' and 'l' keys on your keyboard were mysteriously transposed, these would result in permutations such as "erticla". This inexplicable spelling error is so irritating and widespread that in some states of the US it is legal to decapitate those who make this mistake.
"Your" and "You're"
"Your" is a second person possessive. "You're" is a contraction of "you are", a form of the verb "to be". The two are completely unrelated. An example sentence: "You're your father.". Whilst it makes a statement which is false, it is grammatically correct.
"Could/would have" and "Could/would of"
"Could have" and "Would have" indicate states of possibility and intent, respectively. "Could of" and "Would of" are nonsensical, a mere inaccurate phonetic rendition of "could have" and "would have".
"Grammar" and "Grammer"
A simple spelling error here, folks. "Grammar" is the correct spelling. If you use any other vowel to spell "grammar", your spelling is incorrect. Even so-called "grammer nazis" get this one wrong.
"To" and "Too"
"To" is a preposition (or an adverb) whose meanings are too numerous to list sufficiently concisely here. "Too" is an adverb used to denote an excess and profundity of something. "There are too many people to count." I'll leave it at that.
Abbreviations and acronyms
"Abbreviation" is a word which may be used to describe any shortening of a word or series of words. An acronym is a more specific form of an abbreviation; acronyms are abbreviations which are pronounceable as a word or wordlike entity. For example, "BMW" is not an acronym, since each letter must be enunciated individually. Nor are "PPP", "GGV" or "BBC". However, "scuba" and "Hurd" are acronyms.
This document is released into the public domain. No rights reserved. You are strongly encouraged to post this text in response to any Slashdot article or comment containg any abuse of English, however marginal. James A. A. Joyce, Slashdot user number 681634, is not the real James Joyce. There is no warranty provided by or associated with this text.