Should of, would of, could of. Grammar dilemmas.
I've noticed an increasing trend lately for people to write 'should of', 'would of' and 'could of' instead of 'should have', 'would have' and 'could have'. For example, 'I could of left earlier'.
Now think about this for a minute. It doesn't make sense, does it? So why are people using it? And I'm not talking about children, I'm talking about adults. People with university degrees. In one case I noticed recently, by someone who writes for a living and teaches others to write.
I suspect it's a case of writing down what we say. Many of us are lazy speakers, and say 'should've', 'would've' and 'could've'. This is fine. We are simply contracting 'should have', 'would have' and 'could have'. In fact, we could write those contractions and that would be perfectly correct, even though it may look a little odd. However, somehow between the mouth to the page the translation gets lost and 'of' creeps in.
We live in a casual world of textspeak these days, particularly on social media channels, which may explain to some degree why 'of' has replaced 'have'. After all, 'of' uses two less characters and if you're tweeting on Twitter that matters. Horrible things happen to grammar and language on social media and in text messages. Don't get me started on it!
Oh, and let's add 'must of' to the list too. How many of you use 'must of' when you should be using 'must have'?
Think carefully when you write. Using bad grammar such as 'should of', 'would of', 'could of'' and 'must of' may cause your readers form a bad perception of your writing ability and education. We are all here to have online businesses, and while our language on our blog should be friendly and inviting, it should also be professional. :-)