could of have

Not again.

I’ve seen something. Again. It was in a paper turned in by a college student.

“You could of . . .”

Translated, that would be “You could have . . .”

How does this happen?

It’s actually common. Very common. I see it multiple times each a semester. Points are lost.

So what are a few points in a college class? That depends. Does a lower grade motivate someone to intentionally improve their grammar in written and spoken communication? Will anyone else even notice? Am I just too picky? Does it really matter?

I think so. When a student turns in a paper with such an error, their credibility takes a hit. I wonder, is it ignorance, carelessness, apathy, or laziness? None of those are positive words. I wouldn’t want anyone to associate me with one of those words. Especially in the workplace. In the workplace, we try to build a reputation and advance in our careers. We want to be perceived as intelligent and articulate, among other things.

They could have used a grammar checker.

2 thoughts on “could of have

  1. What you’re observing is often a lack of phonological awareness, or an auditory processing disorder. Dr. Adam Cox wrote in his book “Boys of Few Words” about treating veterans at a VA hospital and noticing that many with interpersonal problems mispronounced common words. There’s interesting connections between the ability to discern word sounds and social perception!

    Just some food for thought.


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